National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 17-23 prevents distracted driving

    9:40 PM, Oct 22, 2010   |    comments
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    There is no tolerance for distractive or impaired driving. The checkpoint is not just to catch drunk drivers, but to let folks know there is no lenience for breaking laws. It's everything from seatbelts, breaking curfew, texting to too many people in the car.

    Pulaski County Sheriff's deputies will be out until Saturday morning at an undisclosed location. Their focus is drugs, alcohol impaired drivers and teens not abiding by the law. This checkpoint is a bit different because parents are involved.

    Holly Jones is the Parent Education Coordinator for Teen Driving Safety at Arkansas Children's Hospital. She says, "We're trying to bring the two together. So that while the parents are enforcing the laws and the rules within the home. Law enforcement are doing it on the street, that both are a team and are working together to keep teenagers safe."

    The purpose of the project is to increase parental responsibility because distractive driving enforcement begins at home. Yet, children's hospital says 93% of parents are not familiar with laws and the main causes of teen involved crashes.

    Jones adds, "Through the enactment in those laws, we're hoping to see our trend drop."

    Since 2009, the Graduated Drivers License Law (GDL) has strengthened, teens can only have one minor in the car, they can't use a cell phone, evening driving is restricted and you must wear a seatbelt.

    Lt. Cody Burk with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says, "We look for that when they come through our sobriety check points to see if they've been drinking or in there are any other violations with their license."

    Distractive and impaired driving is preventable. Burk says DWI and alcohol is the leading cause of fatal accidents for teens. That's why they're out in full force to stop them before the unthinkable happens.

    "We need to drive by the rules to keep the privilege because driving is a privilege," Jones adds.

    The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office holds sobriety checkpoints monthly. Since it's creation the Graduated Drivers License Law has shown a 30.5% decrease in driver deaths among those 15 to 17 years old.

    For more information on the Arkansas Children's Hospital Drive by the Rules, Keep the Privilege Program Facebook page, click here. They also have videos on their youtube page, click here.

    You can also visit our special section The Great Hangup on todaysthv.com. It is our effort to help end distracted driving. You can also find the latest information and the latest ways to stop distracted driving.


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