Safety presentation offered

Teen-aged drivers and their parents are invited to attend a Teen/Parent Traffic Safety presentation conducted by the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, North Memorial Ambulance Service and the Zimmerman Safe Schools Committee.

The event for young drivers, including prospective teen drivers, takes place at Zimmerman Middle School Feb. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Emergency medical staff and sheriff’s office personnel will offer insights to what they view as the biggest traffic-related concerns among newly licensed teen drivers.

They will also talk about the consequences bad driving judgements can cause.

Though drivers between the ages of 15–24 represent 15.5 percent of all licensed drivers in the state, this same age group accounts for 26 percent of all traffic wrecks, according to data from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.

A 2007 study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that 61 percent of 16- and 17-year-old drivers surveyed admitted to engaging in distracting or dangerous activities while driving.

According to the study, those teens did the following while driving:

•51 percent talk on a cell phone.
•47 percent text.
•66 percent exceed the speed limit by at least 10 mph.
•11 percent drive after drinking alcohol or using street drugs.
•58 percent carry youth passengers.

“The sheriff’s office responds to many serious injury and fatal crashes,” Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott says. “We observe the destruction that can happen in an instant when laws are not followed, or when risks are taken behind the wheel. This presentation will highlight traffic safety concerns in order to learn about or solidify safe driving behaviors before it is too late.”

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