Save Our Teen Drivers

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

Police find success in calling parents when they pull over teen drivers

Posted by lapearce on July 15, 2009

One of the best ways to make teens drive better is to involve parents. Crash rates, and ultimately deaths, decrease when parents are directly involved in their child’s driving. With graduated drivers licenses, however, we’re taking the focus off the parents and putting it on law enforcement to make sure young drivers are being responsible. For states that don’t have graduated drivers licenses, for many teens, not even the police are keeping an eye on new drivers.

Florida is one of those states with poor GDL laws, however, in the city of Oviedo, police have found a way to bring parents into the process. A year ago the police started contacting parents when 16 or 17 year old drivers were stopped, even if they didn’t receive a ticket. The police department feels that this program has been a success.

Lieutenant George Ilemsky thinks the program is common sense, “Why not get the parents involved? They have to have a responsibility in what their son and daughter are doing.”

The program helped Orievo win the 2009 law enforcement traffic safety award and has lead to other cities following the model that Orievo started. In the past six weeks they have contacted 53 parents, most of which have been thankful for the call.

Not all parents are convinced the program is good. One father says “I believe that the teenager has a right to be able to handle it on his own irregardless (sic) of what the kid did.” As you may expect, I disagree with this gentelman. First saying the teen has a right to handle the situation is incorrect. Because the teen is a minor, the parents are responsible for what ever the teen does, NOT the teen himself. The parents have a right then to know what their teens are doing and haveĀ  a responsibility to ensure that their teen does not injure or kill someone else on the road because of how they are driving. It is the parents legal responsibility to do so because they can be charged or sued because of the actions of their teen driver.

If the police are going to pull over teens anyways, it makes sense to take an extra step and make a call. While the article does not say if the program has decreased incidences of teens being pulled over, I’d say that if a teen knows that their parents will be informed when they are pulled over, that they are probably more likely to follow traffic laws. Just a hunch on my part, but if i were 16 I certinally would not want my parents to know when I was fooling around on the road.


One Response to “Police find success in calling parents when they pull over teen drivers”

  1. safedriver said

    Well said Lauren! I’ve done radio and TV across Canada saying the same things!


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