March 9, 2012

Speeding Teens

Fewer accidents are being caused by many bad driving habits, but speeding isn't one of them.  

Jessica: A deadly car crash in Oregon this week left two people dead. And police say the 16-year-old driver of one of the cars had been speeding. That teen is now facing two charges of manslaughter.

Speeding killed more than 10,530 people in 2010. That is a third of all traffic fatalities. And while deaths related to drinking and driving or seat belt use are dropping, deaths related to speeding keep going up.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says not enough states make speeding a priority. Since 2005, two states have upped fines for speeding. But seven states actually increased their speed limits. Only one state passed a law against aggressive driving. So, why aren’t drivers slowing down? The research found that it is simply because people don’t care that much about speeding. In fact, a majority of people surveyed said they believe speed limits are just a way for police to make money. And about 20% of teens said they think speeding is fun.

The study found those most likely to crash are male teens driving in rural areas. Experts say they are not only more likely to take risks, it is difficult to convince them not to. And that has angered a traffic judge in Rhode Island. He has just imposed what he calls the “death penalty” for teen license holders.

After a teen driver crashed this car on the way home from a party last October, the judge ruled that he never be allowed to hold a Rhode Island driver’s license again…ever. The judge says it is the first time the state has ever enacted this law but he says he is tired of young people dying on the road.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association says there must be more awareness about the dangers of speeding. They say states that have already taken steps to target speeding drivers have cut down on speed related fatalities by 45%.

Back to you, Shelby.


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