Mary­land rec­og­nizes Teen Driver Safety Week

The Dundalk Eagle - - POLICE BEAT -

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Tran­spor­ta­tion’s Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Ad­min­is­tra­tion (MDOT MVA) joined traf­fic safety lead­ers and more than 100 teens last week at an In­ter­ac­tive Traf­fic Safety Lab led by the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tions for Youth Safety (NOYS) to high­light the dangers faced by young drivers. The event kicked off the be­gin­ning of Na­tional Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs through Oc­to­ber 27.

“Teen drivers are at greater risk on our roads due to in­ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Chrissy Nizer, Gover­nor Larry Ho­gan’s High­way Safety Rep­re­sen­ta­tive and Ad­min­is­tra­tor for the MDOT MVA. “We are proud to part­ner with the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tions for Youth Safety in ed­u­cat­ing our young drivers about po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions.”

The In­ter­ac­tive Traf­fic Safety Lab fea­tured sta­tions that pro­vided learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences to sup­port safer road use. This year’s safety ex­hibits cov­ered top­ics in­clud­ing pre­vent­ing dis­tracted driv­ing, the dangers of drunk or drugged driv­ing, and the im­por­tance of us­ing seat belts. In ad­di­tion, teens were pro­vided with the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties to teach them about crash avoid­ance and skid re­cov­ery.

“Car crashes are the num­ber one killer of teens,” said April Rai, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor at NOYS. “Mary­land has been an out­stand­ing part­ner as we work to em­power young peo­ple to keep them­selves safe as a pedes­trian, pas­sen­ger, and as a driver, ul­ti­mately work­ing to elim­i­nate teen traf­fic fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries.”

Over the last five years in Mary­land, 244 peo­ple have been killed and more than 7,500 peo­ple have been in­jured in crashes in­volv­ing a driver be­tween the ages of 16 and 20. Driver dis­trac­tion was re­ported as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor in about 27 per­cent of crashes for drivers in that age group. Seat belt use is also of­ten lower among teen drivers.

Mary­land pro­motes “5 to Drive” and the role of par­ents in en­sur­ing the safety of their young drivers. The pro­gram ad­vo­cates dis­cussing these safety top­ics with teens:

No cell phone use or tex­ting while driv­ing,

No ex­tra pas­sen­gers, No speed­ing, No al­co­hol/drugs, and No driv­ing or rid­ing with­out a seat belt.

Par­ents can learn more about ways to keep their young drivers safe at www. safer­car.gov/par­ents/teen­driv­ing.

“It is un­ac­cept­able for a young life to be lost on our roads,” said Ad­min­is­tra­tor Nizer. “We all need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for keep­ing teen drivers safe and pre­par­ing them for the sit­u­a­tions they will face while driv­ing.”

Learn more about the MDOT High­way Safety Of­fice’s To­ward Zero Deaths cam­paign at to­wardze­rodeathsmd.com, on Face­book at @to­wardze­rodeathsmd, on Twit­ter at @tzd_­mary­land, and on In­sta­gram at twdze­rodeath­s_md. For more in­for­ma­tion on NOYS, please visit https://noys.org.

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