CT Safe Teen Driving Awareness Week | Reduce the Risk

This week is officially recognized as Connecticut's Safe Teen Driving Awareness Week which is meant to be an opportunity for community leaders statewide to organize their area teens around the theme of How A Community Helps to Make Teens Safe Drivers.

Connecticut's Safe Teen Driving Awareness week has taken place in early December for the past several years. This very important educational and awareness week was championed by !MPACT, officially known as Mourning Parents Act, Inc., an organization of families and friends of teens who died in car crashes.

DMV Commissioner Melody Currey's Advisory Committee on Teen Safe Driving finalized a new Teen-Parent Driver Agreement this week which is being made available to the public to help raise awareness of the dangers of teen driving and to help reduce a teen driver's crash risk. The Committee, of which I am a member, worked hard at putting together a comprehensive, user friendly agreement that is to be reviewed and signed by new teen drivers and their parent(s).

Teen-Parent Driving Agreements are a proven way to raise awareness of the dangers of teen driving and reduce a teen driver's risk of being involved in an accident.  Motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of teenagers.  This Agreement spells out safety risks and what happens if the teen driver violates his/her obligations.  The Agreement is to be reviewed between parent and teen before the teen obtains a learner's permit, and should be reviewed again when the teen obtains their license.

The new agreement will be placed in the Connecticut driver's manual for parents and adults involved in a teen driver's training teens to consider using. It sets out issues for discussion and responsibilities of adults and teen drivers.

DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey, stated that "The new parent-teen agreement also gives communities as well as parents and teens a good starting point for discussions about safety."

Dr. Brendan Campbell, pediatric surgeon and researcher in teen driving matters, said, "We all - parents, police, health care providers and all other safety advocates - need to remain vigilant in our outreach to these youngest of drivers. Communities and agreements like this one can help tremendously in stemming this public health problem of crashes being the leading cause of death among 15-19 year-old teens." Dr. Campbell is Director of Pediatric Trauma at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.

The new Connecticut Teen-Parent Driver Agreement can be found at:http://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/teenparentagreement_dmv_12_2011_final.pdf