Lawmakers to discuss teen driver safety

A trio of lawmakers will join a panel discussion Thursday sponsored by The Hill about the risks of teenagers texting while driving.

The panel, titled "A Healthy America," will feature Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) and Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.). Also speaking will be National Highway Safety Administration chief David Strickland, National Safety Council President Janet Froetscher and Montgomery County, Md. Police Chief Capt. Thomas Didone.

Klobuchar, Hultgren and Bishop have all introduced legislation seeking to increase the safety of teen drivers. Klobuchar and Bishop are carrying the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act of 2011 in the Senate and House respectively. The measure would implement a three-tiered process of teenagers to earn driver's licenses, adding an "intermediate stage" when there would be restrictions on nighttime driving and the number of passengers they could have in the car.

The Healthy America forum will begin Thursday in Room HC-5 in the Capitol at 8:30 a.m with a breakfast, followed by the panel discussion at 9 a.m.