Michigan Coalition

We are a Coalition of more than 51 organizations committed to helping teens leverage the proven principles of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). We represent state and local government, law enforcement and public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, academia, businesses, teens, parents and crash victims.

Our goal is zero -- no teen-related crashes, injuries or fatalities. Ensuring that teens survive the most dangerous time of their lives is not just the responsibility of parents, police and school officials, but every citizen. 

We invite you to learn about our initiatives and to join us. There are no monthly meetings or membership dues; your only obligation is to help spread the word about Michigan's GDL program.



Ticket Your Parents

The Ticket Your Parent(s) program was designed by the Ohio Teen Safe Driving Coalition in partnership with the National Safety Council. Ticket Your Parent(s) is for teachers or organization leaders who closely work with pre-teens. Program facilitators give pre-teens a book of mock traffic tickets to issue to parents or other adult drivers engaging in unsafe driving behaviors. After the program ends, pre-teens discuss what they learned while observing their parents' driving behaviors. 


Register to host Ticket Your Parent(s)! All materials are free and available for download as soon as you register. 

The HEARTS Network

Nearly everyone knows someone whose life has been impacted by a teen driving-related crash. The National Safety Council manages the HEARTS Network, a nationwide group of families and victims who have been directly impacted by a teen-related crash. The HEARTS Network - an acronym for Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying The Survivors - helps families and victims support one another and advocate for change. We encourage anyone who has been impacted to join the HEARTS Network and the Teen Safe Driving Coalitions. 

Personal stories play an important role in affecting change. For that purpose, we have created a “Sharing HEARTS” section of the HEARTS Network webpage dedicated to telling the stories of those whose lives have changed forever because of teen-related crashes.

Visit the HEARTS Network webpage to learn more. 


GDL Game Plan for Coaches

The GDL Game Plan for Coaches is a vehicle for high school and recreational or travel league coaches to hold an open dialog with athletes about enforcing and adhering to GDL laws in their state. The 4-page document includes an overview of how and why the New York GDL program works; offers suggestions for engaging athletes, parents and fans; outlines a sample code of conduct; and lists online resources. Information for coaches, athletes and parents about the Coaches Game Plan – including sample text for a GDL Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.


What is the Graduated Driver License Program?

First implemented in Michigan and Florida in the mid-1990s, Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a three-step system designed to provide novice drivers with the necessary tools to be safe on our roadways and minimize those things that cause them the greatest risk of crash – distraction caused by other passengers, the use of cell phones and electronic devices as well as driving late at night and riding unbelted. There is a learner's permit phase, a probationary license period and finally a basic or full license.

What does Michigan’s GDL program entail?

Michigan’s GDL program consists of the following elements:

  1. Teens must be 14 years and 9 months old to obtain a permit
  2. Teens must complete 50 hours of driving – 10 of which must be at night – over a period of at least six months before obtaining an intermediate, or restricted, license at age 16 
  3. Teens are not permitted to drive unsupervised between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. when their crash risk is highest, with exceptions for work and school 
  4. Teens with a restricted license cannot carry more than one passenger under age 21 – immediate family members are an exception – for the first 12 months of the restricted licensing period
  5. Teens with a restricted license are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving
  6. A basic, or full, license can be obtained and restrictions lifted after holding a restricted license for 6 months or at age 17, whichever is later

Why does Michigan need a GDL program?

Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens, and their crash risk is four times that of an experienced driver. The risk is highest when teens are in the first 12 to 24 months of licensure.

The “License to Save” Report issued by The Allstate Foundation in December 2011 estimates that of the 157 fatalities involved in Michigan crashes with young drivers, 24 would have been avoided with enactment of a more comprehensive GDL law.The implementation of GDL programs has saved approximately 14,820 lives nationally since 1991. It is proven to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving teen drivers.

Why are passengers dangerous for teen drivers?

Most teen crashes involve some form of distraction. While cell phone use clearly poses a danger to all motorists, passengers are particularly distracting to young drivers. A teen driver is twice as likely to be killed in a crash while carrying just one passenger, regardless of whether the passenger is a friend or a sibling. Carrying three or more passengers quadruples risk.

Why is nighttime driving risky for teens?

Forty percent of all teen driver fatal crashes occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. While Michigan does not allow teens on the roadways unsupervised between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., parents are encouraged to set an earlier time for their teens to be off the roads. 

May teen drivers use hands-free cell phones?

No. Michigan has a complete cell phone ban for all motorists in the learners permit or restricted stages of GDL. Research clearly shows that both handheld and hands-free devices cause manual, cognitive and visual distraction. NSC and the National Transportation Safety Board have called for a complete ban of cell phone use while driving for all motorists, regardless of age. 

How can I help a teen driver gain more experience?

Research clearly shows that GDL programs are the most effective tactic for addressing teen crash risk because they help novice drivers build skill while minimizing risk. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, coach, advisor, older sibling, neighbor or friend, learning about and enforcing the GDL program is important. 

Parents in particular play a critical role in teen driver safety. Teens who report having parents that set rules and monitor their activities in a helpful and supportive way are half as likely to crash, 71 percent less likely to drive intoxicated, 30 percent less likely to use a cell phone while driving and 50 percent more likely to wear a safety belt. By partnering with parents, you can help to ensure that they know about and leverage the proven principles of GDL so their teens gain skill and become good drivers for life.


Michigan Websites

Parent Teen Agreement

Michigan GDL Program


National Websites

National Safety Council


The Allstate Foundation

Impact Teen Drivers

DCH Teen Safe Driver program - for parents and teens

Center for Disease Control - Teen Drivers

IIHS - Highway Loss Data Institute

AAA Keys2Drive for parents and teens

Safe Kids - for parents and teens 13/14-years of age

SADD - for parents, teens and educators

National Organizations for Youth Safety for parents, teens and educators

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - for parents, teens and educators

Contact Us


We are a Coalition of more than 50 individuals and organizations committed to helping teens leverage the proven principles of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). We are affiliated with state and local government, law enforcement and public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, academia, and business. We’re also teens, parents and crash victims.

Our goal is zero -- no crashes, injuries or fatalities. Unfortunately, teen drivers and teen passengers (driven by their peers) continue to die in motor vehicle crashes every year. Ensuring that teens survive their most dangerous driving years is not just the responsibility of parents, police and school officials, but every citizen. 

Led by nationally recognized teen safe driving advocate and expert, Bonnie Raffaele, our Coalition is working collaboratively to effect change in Michigan. We invite you to learn about our initiatives and to join us. There are no monthly meetings or membership dues; your only obligation is to help spread the word about Michigan's GDL program.

To join the conversation or to follow the Coalition’s initiatives and activities, visit us on Facebook.
To learn more about Coalition membership, our initiatives and/or to provide financial or in-kind support, contact:


MIchigan Highway Safety Summit 2016

The Michigan Teen Coalition will be participating in the Michigan Highway Safety Summit in March.  We will have a booth on Wednesday, March 23rd with tons of information on what we do and what we have accomplished.  Bonnie will be speaking on Tuesday Morning, and our one and only Patricia Carter will be honored at the honors banquette.

Stop by our booth. 

Michigan Trauma Coalition Injury Prevention Symposium.

Michigan Trauma Coalition Injury Prevention Symposium.

October 6th in Lansing, Michigan

Come check out the Colaitions Booth.


Michigan Office of Highway Safety

Michigan Secretary of State

Brain Injury Alliance of MI

MIchigan Chiefs of Police Association

AAA Clubs

Police Officers around State

Munson Trauma Services


All Star Driver Education

Prevention Network

University of Michigan

Borgess Health

Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI)

Michigan Sherif's Association

Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan



Kohl's Drive Smart Distracted Driving Prevention Program


Clarkston Schools

Sault Area Schools

Calumet Schools

Ionia ISD

Michigan Municipal League

MI Bankers

Tru Scott Rossman Associates

Century Driving

Michigan Sheriffs Association

University of Michigan

Michigan Public Health Institute 

Prevention Network

Michigan PTA

Mid-Michigan Medical Center

All-Star Driver Education

Trauma Outreach/Injury Prevention Coordinator

Botsford Hospital Trauma Services