Governor Perdue Announces New Teen Driver Parental Notification Program

 

 

STATE OF GEORGIA

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

Sonny Perdue
GOVERNOR

For Immediate Release
Thursday, October 5, 2006

 

Parents to be Notified by State Patrol when Teen Drivers Ticketed or Warned
Teen Driver Parental Notification Program to be Implemented Statewide

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today a new initiative to help protect Georgia’s youngest drivers – the Teen Driver Parental Notification Program.  The program is designed to initiate dialog between parents and teenagers after a teen driver has been stopped by a Georgia State Trooper for a traffic violation.  The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) plans to implement the program across the state. 

            “This initiative will increase awareness of the dangers teen drivers face on the road,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “Parents often never know when their child has received a traffic citation until insurance premiums increase, or when their child’s driver’s license has been suspended.  Notifying parents of traffic violations by their children will encourage teen drivers to be more responsible when they are behind the wheel and help save lives.”

A letter from the post commander at the GSP post will be mailed shortly after the teen driver has been stopped and issued either a citation or warning for a traffic violation.  The letter sent to the parents will inform them of the date their teenager was stopped, the reason for the traffic stop and whether or not a citation or warning was issued.  The letter will also contain traffic safety facts that the parents and teenagers can discuss.

“The goal of the program is to increase parental involvement during the early years of the teenagers’ driving experience,” said Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety and colonel of the GSP.  “Parents have the greatest influence on the driving behavior of their children and we hope this notification program can help initiate a dialog regarding the dangers of unsafe driving.”

            The program requires no additional staff personnel to implement.  Troopers will obtain the home address and the name of the driver’s parent for all traffic stops where the driver is under the age of 18.  A letter to the parent or legal guardian will then be prepared at the patrol post and mailed to the parent or legal guardian.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.  Sixteen year-old drivers have a higher crash rate than drivers of any other age.  According to the

National Highway
 Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • 3,657 drivers age 15-20 died in car crashes in 2003, making up 14 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes, and 18 percent of all drivers involved in police-reported crashes.
  • 25 percent of teen drivers across the country killed in 2003 had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater.  A BAC of 0.08 is the level at which all states define drunk driving.  In Georgia, drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.02 or greater.

Almost half of the crash deaths involving 16-year-old drivers in 2003 occurred when beginning drivers were accompanied by teen passengers, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  IIHS statistics also show that 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.

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