The Resource Training Center – which offers a wide variety of services, including the state Drinking Driver Program for those convicted of an alcohol- or drug-related driving violation, and Alive at 25, a unique program that teaches young drivers to change how they approach driving through role playing, workbook exercises and interactive media segments – recently issued a special challenge to parents with teen drivers.
The center, in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst, encouraged parents to visit safercar.gov/parents and regularly share with their children “5 to Drive,” five specific rules designed to help save the lives of more teenage drivers and soon-to-be teen drivers:
• No cellphones while driving.
• No extra passengers.
• No speeding.
• No alcohol.
• No driving or riding without a seat belt.
While these seem obvious, a recent survey showed only about 25 percent of parents have serious talks with their kids about the key components of safe driving. And although teens cannot legally purchase or possess alcohol, nationally 27 percent of teen drivers killed in 2011 had some level of alcohol in their systems. Teens are also the age group most likely to be distracted by texting or dialing on cellphones while driving, creating dangerous consequences. Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in America.
Monica Farrar, director of The Resource Training Center, said in a news release, “We want to remind parents that they still have a lot to teach their teen drivers, and they should talk it out and always set the rules before their teens hit the road.”