Probation Department urges parents to talk with teens about dangers of distracted driving

Probation Dept. urges parents to talk with teens about dangers of distracted driving

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – In the wake of National Teen Driver Safety Week, the Tulare County Probation Department is asking parents and guardians to take the time to discuss with their teen the rules of the road intended to keep them safe.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), six out of every 10 crashes involving teens were caused by driver distraction.

“Like anything new, it takes practice and experience to be a good driver,” Tulare County Probation Department Chief Michelle Bonwell said. “Teen drivers are also more likely to take risks and pick up bad habits behind the wheel, which is why it is important for parents to be involved and take steps to ensure their teen is staying safe on the road.”

The Tulare County Probation Department offers the following tips to parents and guardians about safe driving with teens:

• Graduated Driver License (GDL): Learn about California’s GDL laws, which place restrictions on passengers and driving at night during the first year they have a license.

• Lead by example: Practice what you preach. Have driving sessions with your teen.

• Set Ground Rules: Be firm on things like not using the phone while driving, no friends in the car, following the speed limit and never driving after drinking or using drugs. Establish consequences you will enforce if your teen breaks the rules.

• Understanding the Consequences: Teach them about zero-tolerance laws regarding alcohol and California’s cell phone law, which bars drivers under 18 from using a cell phone for any reason, including hands-free.

• Sober Driving: Emphasize the importance of never riding with someone who has been drinking or using.

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