Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

Father of boy killed in Mustang crash starts foundation

Posted by lapearce on April 14, 2009

Zach Raffety

Zach Raffety

Carl Raffety, father of Zach Raffety, who was killed last Tuesday in a crash, is starting the Zachary Tyler Raffety Memorial Foundation in hopes of increasing awareness of the dangers of speeding, as well as making the road his son was killed on safer.

Zach was a passenger of Mark Motley, an 18 year old who lost control of his Mustang GT on a twisty road at a high rate of speed, slamming into a tree. Both boys were killed on the scene.

I have blogged about a similar case before, where the father of a teenager killed in a crash starts a foundation to try and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It is horrible that in this day and age, the only time someone comes with a solution is after they lose the life of a child. It would be so much better if we just gave them the solution now so these reactionary foundations wouldn’t have to be created.

I don’t want to seem overly critical of his foundation or his hopes to save lives, I just want him to save as many lives as possible, which is why i say, with all due respect to the Raffety family, that I feel the goals of the foundation are a little misplaced. His main hope is to improve the safety of  Live Oak Canyon Road, the twisting road where nine people have been killed since 2006. I just don’t think there is much room for improvement on the road. I also don’t think the road is at fault here.

He also hopes to create awareness for the dangers of speeding, but we already do that. Kids get it beat over their head that they shouldn’t speed, but they don’t listen. To quote the study on dangerous driving done by the NHTSA in 2006:

“Teen participants report that they ignore antispeeding campaigns and enforcement efforts that target this low level of speeding because they see no danger. But they need information about the very real risks of extreme speeding (speeds over 100 mph), which is very alluring to teens…

The young male participants believe that they are totally focused on the road ahead and can anticipate every action, thereby minimizing the risk of collision. They do not see their driving as being aggressive, just highly skilled.”

They don’t listen because they don’t think it will happen to them, and they think they are good drivers who can avoid bad situations. I guarantee you Mark did. All of Mark and Zach’s friends will now listen, but other teens won’t.

Mr. Raffety, if you want to have the greatest effect, I suggest you refocuses your foundation to go after the DMV and start lobbying for better laws. If you take your message to the state level, you’ll have a real shot at making sure what happened to Zach doesn’t happen again. I would be more than willing to stand by your side for this campaign. You have my support and my best wishes to you and your family.


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