Educating Student Drivers on the Dangers of Impaired Driving (3/24/17)
As a parent,
I am in the process of administering the Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education
Course to my 15-year-old daughter. According to the curriculum, here are some alarming facts regarding
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20 year olds. (NHTSA, 2011)
The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among 16 to 19 year olds than any other age.
Police Department has taken a more active approach to educating students on the
dangers of impaired driving. Whether the
impairment stems from a cell phone, alcohol or drugs, the consequences can be devastating. As adults and parents, we have a
responsibility to have honest discussions about expectations concerning our
students who drive, as well as those who are simply passengers in another
officers have presented an impaired driving curriculum to over 1,000 students
this semester. The lessons are
interactive, fun and enlightening, although the message is serious. Impaired driving is dangerous and can change
your life, and the lives of those around you, forever. Students must have a safety plan if they find
themselves in a situation where they may choose to drive with an impairment or
if they are a passenger in a car where the driver is impaired.
our first inclination is to tell our children not to drink and drive, or don’t
pick up your phone while you are driving. That will work for some, but the reality is our children are tempted by
peer pressure and at some point they may give in to having a drink. Parents and teens should have a safety plan
in place so the child knows they can call a parent to come get them at any
time. As a parent, I may not like the
fact that my child had to call me, but I would rather get my child home safely
than have to watch them deal with an arrest or an accident.
I want to
introduce you to Jamie Chapman. Jamie is
a wonderful young man and a friend of mine. Jamie has partnered with our police department and speaks to student
groups, sharing his story about how one decision to get behind the wheel –
while impaired – changed his life and the life of his family. Jamie attended Austin
High School where he was a three-sport athlete, and then he graduated in 2009. In 2011, Jamie drove his car after he had
been drinking and crashed into a tree. Jamie’s mother, Katrina, is now his caretaker. I would encourage every parent to watch the short video about
Jamie that was produced by two Travis High School students. Please share the video with your teenagers
and develop a safety plan.
educate teens on the dangers of impaired driving.
Chief David Rider Follow me on Twitter: @FBISDChiefRider