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BOSTON, MA (Friday, October 12, 2012) – Today, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian joined law enforcement and local safety advocates to address teens and parents at the kick-off to National Teen Driver Safety Week at the Watertown Registry branch. The nationally observed week focuses on parental involvement in driver’s education, junior operator programs, increasing seat belt use and reducing teen access to alcohol and runs from October 14-20.
“We are seeing positive changes in teen driver behavior since the implementation of the Junior Operation Law of 2007 and the Safe Driving Law in 2010,” said Registrar Kaprielian. “Beyond our laws, we need parents and other adults to talk with our teens and show our teens what it means to be a responsible driver.”
In 2007, teens (16, 17, and 18 year olds) were operating vehicles involved in 53 fatal crashes and in 5,100 crashes resulting in injury. By 2010, records indicate drivers in that same age group were behind the wheel at 29 fatal crashes and 3,200 were involved in crashes resulting in injury.
“Parents are the key to assuring the safety of teen drivers,” said Jeff Larson, President of Safe Roads Alliance. “Massachusetts has been out front, leading the nation in taking an active effort to focus on the safety of teen drivers.”
One tool helping parents is The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, which focuses on the importance of parents’ involvement in the teen driver education process and is available through the Registry.
"Teen crash rates have a huge affect on Massachusetts families. Programs like The Parent's Supervised Driving Program are an important part of ending this epidemic of crashes,” said George Murphy, Vice President of Marketing at Safety Insurance, the lead sponsor of the Program.
Parents and teens attending the kick-off event were rewarded with sponsor prizes and giveaways such as Irving Oil Gas Gift Cards and a AAA Membership. One lucky participant also won a NO WAIT PASS from the RMV, and another won an E-ZPass On the Go transponder from MassDOT to introduce a new driver to electronic tolling.
As an added incentive to encourage parents and teens to utilize The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program, sponsor LoJack Corporation announced the launch of a contest for a Grand Prize LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System valued at $695.00.
For transportation news and updates visit MassDOT at our website: www.mass.gov/massdot, blog: www.mass.gov/blog/transportation, or follow MassDOT on twitter at www.twitter.com/massdot and Facebook at www.facebook.com/massdotinfo.