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Ford, Secretary of State Unveil New Safe Driving Campaign For Teens

This statewide campaign aims to encourage parents to get involved in their teen's driver's training.

Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly Jr. and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson explain the dangers of reckless or negligent driving to a group of students at Edsel Ford High School. Photo: Jenny Kalish.
Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly Jr. and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson explain the dangers of reckless or negligent driving to a group of students at Edsel Ford High School. Photo: Jenny Kalish.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Ford Motor Co. announced a new initiative this week that will promote safe driving among teens across the State of Michigan.

Secretary Johnson unveiled the program at Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn on Tuesday. She was joined by Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly Jr., representatives from Ford, and other traffic safety partners.

The Parent's Supervised Driving Program was created to promote safe driving for teenagers, but is directed towards teenagers' parents to help them coach their teen drivers more effectively.

"When compared to adult drivers, [teens] are four times more likely to be killed in a crash," said Secretary Johnson. "It’s the number one cause of death for young people in America."

As part of the campaign, parents will have access to a new instructional booklet known as The Parent's Supervised Driving Guide, which they will receive when their teen applies for their Level One Driver's License. The guide is sponsored by Ford Motor Co., and will be printed and distributed at no cost to taxpayers, Secretary Johnson said.

Parents can also access the guide online at michigan.gov/teendriver, or download an associated mobile app, RoadReady, where teens can log driving hours and use the GPS mapped drives feature, which allows them to identify and drive on multiple types of roads with various conditions to help prepare themselves for future scenarios. 

The free app is currently available for iPhones only, though an Android version will be out in spring 2014.

"If you don’t get that confidence, if you don’t try out different roads...if you don’t experience those things with someone there to help you, than when you first confront them it could be overwhelming," said Mayor O'Reilly, addressing a group of Edsel Ford students. "As the driver, you owe it to anybody who gets in the car with you to ensure that they are going to get out of your car safely."

Drivers younger than 21 accounted for 10 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes in Michigan last year. In fact, in 2012 alone their were 130 fatal crashes, 11,415 personal injury crashes, and 40,071 property damage crashes in Michigan involving a driver age 16-20, the state reported.

That is why it's so important for parents of teen drivers to provide their kids with as much support as possible as they earn their way toward a Michigan driver's license.

"The most important person or people to help you become safe drivers are your parents or your guardians," Jeff Larson, president of the Safe Roads Alliance, who worked with the Secretary of State to develop the program. "This program, the parents supervised driving program, isn’t your book, it’s your parent’s book.  So when you get this, you make sure you give it to them, because they’re the ones who need to be able to read this."

Marium Wilke December 07, 2013 at 09:14 AM
This all starts with good strong execution of our laws...We have the rules and laws in place...they just have to be better inforced..We have to much creative driving in our city..This city is for everyone to live in...And everyone should feel the same way...Respect for each other as we drive through the streets should be for anyone that is driving in our city...While we're on the subject of safety how about covering the many dealer plates that are on cars with family, kids, and many many others...2 members in my association listed over 60 dealer plates on the East end of Dearborn...and many more have been reported....Let's do something about that!...Driving down Greenfield. 2 little boys about 5 & 6 sitting in the front seat of a van...NO seat belts...moving back and forth all over in the front seat...while I assume dad was driving...Let's take a serious look at that..Safety First of course...I can't agree more!

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