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Taylorville, IL 62568
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CHRISTIAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
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301 W. FRANKLIN STREET P. O. BOX 678 • TAYLORVILLE, IL 62568
SHERIFF BRUCE KETTELKAMP PHONE (217) 824-4961 (C) 217-820-0758
CHIEF DEPUTY FAX (217) 824-4963 SHERIFF’S OFFICE
BRUCE ENGELING FAX (217) 824-7890 9-1-1/COMMUNICATIONS
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COMMITMENT * INTEGRITY * SERVICE
FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK VOL 3, NR. 11
By Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
NEW PROGRAMS COMBAT TEEN DRIVING ACCIDENTS
The Impact Teen Drivers "Train the Trainer" Workshop was held on October 29 at the LETAC Training Center in Springfield. This 4-hour workshop provides participants with evidence-based tools to help them to deliver high energy presentations focused on the dangers of reckless and distracted driving.
All of us who attended felt it more than accomplished its goal. These sessions are for teachers, safety educators, law enforcement and other facilitators. They make it possible for these people to deliver high-energy presentations that are focused on these dangers.
And it has never been more important to have this training going on.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-20. Nearly 1 in 5 licensed 16-year-olds is in a vehicle crash and their fatality rate is roughly 3 to 5 times that of drivers in their 30’s. 40’s and 50’s. Yet 75% of these crashes have nothing to do with drugs or alcohol. They are often the result of teens working to gain their driving license simply not working hard enough to master the important activities and actions to adequately prepare them.
But there is good news... The Illinois Graduated Driver program, GDL, has produced outstanding results. Since it was introduced in January 2009, teen driving fatality rates have declined by 50%. The Illinois GDL program has become a national model for other states.
Illinois Secretary of State, Jesse White, has a 34-page manual available through his website atwww.cyberdriveillinois.com which is an excellent guide to how the Graduated Driver Licensing Program, with its Parent-Teen Driving program, work together to a steadily increasing level of safety consciousness among the teens.
It provides "side-by-side quizzes" for Parents and Teens to help them achieve meaningful discussions.
The GDL program is a 50-hour program. That means that the teen must spend a full 50 hours of practice driving. Furthermore, 10 of the hours must be done at night. These 50 hours are in addition to any time spent behind-the-wheel with a driving instructor. All 50 hours must be spent with someone age 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of one year. The Secretary of State website has an excellent chart for recording the necessary data pertaining to each of the 50 hours of practice driving.
The new "5 to Drive" campaign gives parents and teens a simple checklist that can help them discuss and work on the good driving skills that can prevent a tragedy before it happens. The 5 topics are:
1. No cell phone use or texting while driving.
2. No extra passengers.
3. No speeding.
4. No alcohol
5. No driving or riding without a seat belt.
The rule concerning extra passengers is for the first 12 months of licensing, or until the driver turns 18. Passengers are limited to one person under the age of 20 unless the passenger is a sibling or a child of the driver. Passengers are limited to one in the front seat and the number of safety belts in the back seat. Also all occupants must wear safety belts.
This system has been resulting in better performance by teen drivers taking the course. The required nighttime driving has improved the overall driving performance. Previously participating drivers often avoided any nighttime driving, resulting in reduced driving ability since they were cheating themselves out of experience that is absolutely essential to have...
Also discussion between the teen and the adult on these trips leads to better understanding by the young drivers in learning to identify and handle many potentially hazardous driving situations.
Adult passengers have also helped to dramatically reduce the use of cell phones or texting while they are driving. Given the wide range of availability and usage by teens, this is an essential development
Teens dealing with winter weather problems or those coming from wet weather have benefited from the presence of the adult drivers.
The active participation of all the groups involved in these very strong programs is the key to continued improvement and the reduction in injury and death among our teen drivers.
Department Activity for the last 5 months: