Save Our Teen Drivers

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

Texas close to getting tougher driver’s training

Posted by lapearce on June 10, 2009

Shelby Johnson would have graduated from high school last Saturday, but instead, she didn’t have a chance to make the walk, to receive her diploma, or to throw her cap in the air. She was killed two years ago on her way to school. Her last words were: “Bye daddy… I love you”. Now, if that doesn’t make you want to cry, I don’t know what will.

In honor of his daughter’s death, Phil Johnson campaigned to improve the driving laws in Texas with the “No tears more years” initiative. The bill increases drivers training from 14 hours to 34 (still below the recommended 50) and includes 10 hours of nighttime training, when most accidents happen, as well as bans cell phones.

The bill, designed by Pottsboro police Chief Brett Arterburn, State Representative Larry Phillips and Phil Johnson, has already passed the House and Senate and just waits for the Governor to sign it in as law. “The bill is not to punish a teen or make it harder for a teen to get a driver’s license. The sole intent of the bill is to save lives,” said Chief Arterburn. If the bill becomes law, Arterburn expects it to go into effect on September 1st, just after the 100 deadliest days for new drivers.

Johnson, who also has a 13 year-old-son,  feels increased education is necessary to help ensure what happened to Shelby doesn’t happen to other teens, like his son Ryan. Like many parents who lose an older child in a crash, he struggles with the concept of letting his younger child drive. “Am I going to let him in a car? I don’t know. I guess I can’t answer that right now. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it… I think I would feel differently once the training is there and once he has been trained to get behind the wheel of a car.”

So Governor Perry: the ball is in your court. What are you going to do with it?

One Response to “Texas close to getting tougher driver’s training”

  1. […] afterward only one other passenger under 21 allowed for the first six months, no night driving and no cell phone use (in effect September 1). Where they are lacking, however, is on their alcohol laws. In California, […]

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