Jesse White establishes Safe Driver Advisory Council to improve highway safety

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

    A resolution proposed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White aimed at making Illinois roads safer was approved today by the State Senate 51 - 0. 

    House Joint Resolution 35, sponsored in the House by Representative John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and in the Senate by Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), will establish the state’s Safe Driver Advisory Council, with White serving as chair. 

    “My mission as Secretary of State is to make our roads as safe as possible,” said White.  “The Safe Driver Advisory Council will hold hearings throughout the state next year to look at ways we can further reduce motor vehicle crash fatalities and injuries.”

    The Safe Driver Advisory Council will consist of ten members, including: White as chair, a legislator from each of the four legislative caucuses, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the National Safety Council, and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.

    In 2008, White served as chair of the state’s Distracted Driving Task Force, which led to legislation banning texting while driving and cell phone use while driving in school and construction zones.

    In 2006-2007, White chaired the Teen Driver Safety Task Force which overhauled the state’s graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, giving Illinois one of the most comprehensive GDL programs in the nation.  Since these changes went into effect on January 1, 2008, teen driving deaths have dropped by 50 percent.

    “Since I became Secretary of State in 1999, we have worked tirelessly to make Illinois roads as safe as possible,” said White.  “We have strengthened the commercial driving license (CDL) process, we have bolstered teen driving laws, we have cracked down on drunk driving and expanded the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) program, and we have targeted distracted driving, just to name some areas of success.  Yet I believe even the best laws and the best programs can be made better, and more lives can be saved.  That is the over-riding goal of the Safe Driver Advisory Council: to save lives.”