June 2, 2009

Hartford, CT – Today, legislation to save the Connecticut Safe Rides program cleared its last legislative hurdle and now heads to Governor M. Jodi Rell for her signature, according to State Reps. Livvy Floren (R-149), Lile Gibbons (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36).

Without this legislation, which exempts the Safe Rides program from the teen driving laws passed in 2008, Greenwich’s safe rides program would have been in jeopardy.

Rep. Gibbons, who is long-time Transportation Committee member and Safe Ride advocate says, “The Greenwich Safe Rides program is the oldest program of its kind in the state. It provides safety and security for our teens needing a ride home and leadership skills for the drivers. Equally important, this program provides life training for both drivers and passengers as they learn from the experience and move from their teen years into adulthood. I’m pleased the legislation passed”.

The annual omnibus Department of Motor Vehicles bill SB-1081, included the Safe Rides exemption among many other DMV legislative proposals passed both the House of Representatives and the State Senate unanimously.

Rep. Livvy Floren, whose sons were drivers in the program, thinks Safe Rides is a valuable program which benefits the town, the volunteers and the riders.

Rep. Camillo concluded, “Often, well intended legislation carries with it negative unintended consequences. This was one such case. The bill we passed establishes an exemption for teenagers under 18 who, under the 2008 law, would have been unable to volunteer their time and efforts for the Safe Rides program”.

Sen. Frantz, a member of the Transportation Committee, said, “The Safe Rides program shares that objective we strive for which is to increase the safety of our roads. Safe Rides is exactly the type of community-based volunteer program we should support.”