Group works to reduce teen driving accidents, deaths - KMSP-TV

Group works to reduce teen driving accidents, deaths

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ATLANTA -

A group of teenagers from all around the state is working to help bring down the number of teen accidents and deaths. Last week, the Governor's Commission on Teen Driving made its pitch to lawmakers.

The group is the first all-student commission in the United States to look specifically at teen driving and work on how to save lives.

Junior Alex Floyd and sophomore Evan Katz are focused on their future, but they still want to make an difference. The two Westminster students were chosen by the governor to serve on the Commission on Teen Driving.

"For me, it's really important to have an impact in your community and really serve and not just in an age group that you relate to, but also to help a problem that's really prominent in that group," said Floyd.

The 22 student panel has been looking at ways to make teenage drivers safer drivers.

"I think the main issue that teenagers have when it comes to driving is just distraction in general," Floyd said.

Floyd says it's not just alcohol and drugs, but the dangers of texting, lack of sleep and having extra passengers in the car.

"What we focused on was kind of education, awareness and kind of combining that with new guidelines and new ways to help bring down deaths," said Floyd.

The commission suggests changing fines to community service so the driver is punished, instead of the parent.

"It teaches the kid that they're going to need to take responsibility if they're willing to get behind the wheel and do something reckless," said Floyd.

They'd also like to see more education.

"One of the things we talked about was reforming the alcohol and drug awareness program. It's a program that all teens have to take in order to get their learners permit but nowadays people are just going through the motions and not learning what's a part of this program," said Katz.

They say getting on their level is the way to get through. Rather than pushing facts, stories about teen deaths will bet the message across.

The student panel was hopeful a senate bill would give more funding to driver's education programs in schools, but it looks like the bill did not survive the last day of the legislative session on Thursday. The same teen commission is expected reconvene in the fall.

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