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Pennsylvania Educates Teens About Dangers of Distracted Driving

Last month, Governor Tom Wolf encouraged Pennsylvania’s observance of the National Teen Driver Safety Week. The campaign was designed to motivate teenagers to beware of dangerous distracted driving behaviors — particularly texting and driving.

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PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said:  “Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens.” As part of Teen Driver Safety Week, Richards organized an online teen driver safety forum with students from 10 schools. “It is important for all of us to keep an open line of communication with teen drivers and help them to understand that driving is a very complex activity with potentially deadly consequences if safe driving habits are ignored.”

According to a AAA insurance agent, the major three factors for teenage accidents are (1) speeding, (2) not paying attention while driving (such as talking to someone or playing on their cell phone), and (3) parents failing to prepare their teenagers for the responsibility of driving.

The Pennsylvania DUI Association recently revised the Graduated License Program, which was designed to provide new drivers with the necessary experience before going on the road by themselves. First, drivers receive a learner’s permit for six months. This requires drivers under the age of 18 to drive with an adult over the age of 21 in the car. After six months, drivers can test for their intermediate license. This license comes with restrictions like curfew and number of passengers. Lastly, drivers can receive their adult license once they turn 18.

Last month, various local governments and organizations throughout Pennsylvania organized events to drive home these dangers to teens.

Grove City, for example, featured speakers from Northwest Regional Highway Safety Network, S.A.A.D., local law enforcement, and the Pennsylvania DUI Association. The guests warned of the dangers and possible consequences of impaired and distracted driving.

“I want to create awareness,” said Jim Gregg, a presenter for the Pennsylvania DUI Association. “If I can cause one person to think and prevent one crash by standing here for an hour, I would do that every day of my life.”

Gregg, a supervisor with the Pennsylvania police, became involved with the Pennsylvania DUI Association for the 2016-17 campaign. After reviewing the statistics, he realized the need to educate teens on distracted driving immediately.

After speaking at the Shaler Area high school assembly, Gregg had several students approach him and thank him, “which doesn’t normally happen with young people,” he said. “[T]hat’s worth the price of me showing up right there.”

His 45-minute presentation consisted of videos featuring victims of distracted driving, including the family members of deceased drivers. Gregg also had the students calculate their own risk of fatal distracted-driving accidents.

“Even if we have a 25% decrease with texting and driving,” Gregg stated, “it’s still going to be the most lethal way for teens to die, which would just be insane because it is preventable.”

Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference in the world, even if your case seems straightforward or you have no criminal record.  If you find yourself arrested for a DUI, make sure you have a capable attorney on your side. Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Zachary B. Cooper will be aggressive and will fight to make sure that your rights are protected so that your family and you can move on with your lives. Call (215) 542-0800 for a free consultation to discuss the legal options that may be available to you.

More Blog Posts:

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Pennsylvania Appeals Court Rejects Contention That Appellant’s Sentence Violates Ex Post Facto Clause, Pennsylvania DUI Blog, October 3, 2016.

Pennsylvania Appellate Court Reverses DUI Conviction in Light of McNeely, Pennsylvania DUI Blog, September 1, 2016.

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Holds DUI Defendant Not Constitutionally Entitled to Jury Trial, Pennsylvania DUI Blog, August 25, 2016.