MVA Promoting Teen Driver Safety This Week

New teenage drivers will receive safety information at MVA offices.

Glen Burnie, Md (KM)  As an effort to promote safe driving habits among teenagers, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is launching “5 to Drive. “With 521 fatalities on our roadways last year, it’s really unacceptable because each one of those was truly preventable,” says MVA Administrator Christine Nizer.

MVA says last year, out of the 521 killed last year on Maryland roads, 21 of them were drivers between the ages of 16 and 20. That’s a 75% increase from 2014 when that number was 12.

October 16t-22  is National Teen Driver Safety Week.

Nizer says customer service agents at MVA full service offices around the state, including the one in Frederick, will be handing out safety information to new teen drivers. It will encourage them  not to carry any extra passengers, don’t speed, don’t drink and drive, and always buckle up. She says one important point is to not use the cell phone while driving. “Just glancing at your phone for only five seconds, if you’re going 55-miles per hour, your car travels the length of a football field,” says Nizer. “Put the cell phone down. Park the phone before you drive, and make sure you arrive safely.”

In addition to the safety information, MVA reminds young motorists that Noah’s Law went into affect October 1st. “If you are drinking and driving–regardless of their age–but certainly for young people, there is the requirement that they will be on mandatory ignition interlock if they’re convicted. So certainly another hopefully, deterrent for individuals to not drink and drive,” says Nizer.

Noah’s Law was named for Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta, who was killed by an intoxicated motorist while enforcing the state’s drunken driving laws.

MVA says motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers in the US.

By Kevin McManus