FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2015
Wolf Administration Reminds Parents of Role in Creating Safer Teen Drivers
Governor Wolf Proclaims Teen Driver Safety Week
Harrisburg, PA – Recognizing that parents are an integral part of training and preparing young drivers for success, PennDOT emphasizes that adult supervision is a critical component in keeping teen drivers safe on the road. To help raise awareness and kick off statewide observance Teen Driver Safety Week, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards led a panel discussion with local safe driving advocates and students at Camp Hill High School.
“Safely operating a vehicle requires complex evaluations, split-second decisions and intricate maneuvers. Parents are in the best position to evaluate a teen driver’s knowledge, skills and abilities behind the wheel,” said Richards. “Parents setting a positive, safe example for young drivers in their family and continuing to monitor young drivers after they receive their license helps establish a mentality of safety behind the wheel among teen drivers.”
From 2009 to 2014, there were 113,029 crashes involving at least one 16- to 19-year old driver in Pennsylvania, resulting in 859 fatalities. Of those crashes, nearly 42 percent involved the teen driver driving too fast for conditions, driver inexperience, driver distraction or improper/careless turning.
The risk of a crash involving any of these factors can be reduced through practice, limiting the number of passengers riding with a teen driver, obeying all rules of the road and using common sense.
Through a public-private partnership aimed at preventing deaths among teen drivers, parents have a valuable asset available to help guide teens through the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program in Pennsylvania.
The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, developed by partnering with Safe Roads Alliance and sponsored by State Farm Insurance and Sheetz, provides parents with a printed handbook designed as a simple, easy-to-follow guide to help their teens become safe and responsible drivers. The program also provides a mobile app to help parents track their teen’s practice drive times and training progress. Booklets are distributed to all teen drivers when a permit is issued.
As a part of their obligation to help their children become responsible and safe drivers, parents should:
• Talk to your teen about safe driving skills before they turn 16.
• Establish a parent/teen driving contract.
• Strongly encourage your teen to avoid distractions behind the wheel, such as talking or texting on the cell phone.
• Limit the number of passengers your teen is allowed to have in their vehicle.
• Limit dawn, dusk and nighttime driving until your teen gains more experience, and enforce a curfew. Remember, state law prohibits 16- and 17-year-olds with a junior license from driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
• Gradually increase the amount of time/distance your teen is allowed to drive.
• Enforce observance of speed limits and other rules of the road.
• Ride with your teen occasionally to monitor driving skills.
• Set a good example.
To further assist teen drivers, PennDOT has developed a mobile application, the PA Driver’s Practice Test app, that offers sample non-commercial driver license knowledge test questions to help them prepare for the actual knowledge test. The application also hosts valuable information for licensed drivers to stay safe, informed and compliant on the roads. You can download the app from the Commonwealth’s app store by clicking on “More” and going under “Social Media” at www.pa.gov
. View the full list of apps to access the PA Driver’s Practice Test app.
Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed Oct. 18-24 as Teen Driver Safety Week to coincide with the national observance.
For more information on young driver safety, visit PennDOT’s highway safety website, www.JustDrivePA.org
, and select the “Young Driver” link under the Traffic Safety Information Center.
MEDIA CONTACT: Craig Yetter, 717-705-1092