Teen Driver Safety Week at Southern Columbia

Locust Township, Columbia County (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Sadly there's a trend involving teens in Pennsylvania that no parent wants their child to be part of.

We're talking teen crashes. With higher numbers among fatalities and crashes initiatives like the 'buck up grant' by PennDot are good especially this week.

The third week in October is national 'teen driver safety week.' Monday Northcentral Highway Safety Network teamed up with Locust Township Police Department checking to see if students at Southern Columbia High School buckled up before leaving for the day.

"There were a few. A lot of people were putting their seat belts on as they were approaching the stop," said Tara Schane, Program Director of the Northcentral Highway Safety. 

Schane tells me seat belts can be a life or death decision no matter the age. 

In the Commonwealth 35 fatalities among teens ages 16 to 17 in 2015. In 2016 that number rose to 47. Crashed involving drivers of that age are also on the rise. From 6,200 in 2015 to 6,600 just a year later. 

"They need to learn how to be safe, they need to know the rules of the road understand some of the rules and that's why we are here. To keep them safe," said Officer DJ Spotts.  

Eyewitness News stopped by the lady tiger's soccer field as many upperclassman here are just learning how to drive. Jillian Marks and Paige Sharrow tell me they find a lot of distractions while on the road.

"So defiantly a cell phone so if your phone is going off. That's defiantly a distractions and having passengers in the car," said Jillian Marks. 

Loud music, eating, the whole nine years. Local agencies are worried without drivers education in schools their best teacher are the teen's parents. With the help from PennDot they hope being involved in the community with lower the crash numbers. 

"I know for me with my Uncle being a police officer I could learn easier for him. With that access people could learn more about it and be safe," said Paige Sharrow. 

Officers in Locust Township say those who are caught violating the seat belt law there is a fine of $75. If you passengers are caught following suit the driver will also have to pay for their fine. 


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