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MSA Expands Young Driver Safety Program:
STOPPED Gets A Boost from AAA Michigan
Thompsonville, MI - The Michigan Sheriffs' Association (MSA), Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and AAA Michigan announced the second expansion of STOPPED (Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers) to 64 of Michigan's 83 counties. AAA is funding this voluntary program for the second consecutive year, striving to foster a partnership between parents and law enforcement to promote safe driving by teens. In its first year STOPPED was sponsored by the Office of Highway Safety Planning.
"This creative partnership will save lives and we're excited to do our part," said -Secretary Land, who is making STOPPED program information available to customers in 121 branches across the state. "It gives parents a new tool to immediately address risky driving behavior by their teens. But, just as important, it also lets our children know that we care. The Michigan Sheriffs' Association and AAA Michigan deserve our thanks for working with families to prevent needless tragedies."
Parents simply register their vehicle online at www.michigansheriff.com and a STOPPED sticker is mailed to their home to be placed on the vehicle's windshield. It serves as a visible reminder to the young driver to drive safely and responsibly, and that should he or she be pulled over for any reason, the parents will receive a letter regarding the incident.
The notification feature makes parents aware of any potential problems and enables them to enforce rules they have set regarding teenage driving privileges. Information in the letter includes the time, location, number of passengers, reason for the stop and whether a citation was issued.
"There is nothing more important to a parent than the protection of their children," said MSA Executive Director Terrence L. Jungel. "Sheriffs and all of law enforcement understand this and we are here to help you in any way we can."
STOPPED was piloted in seven Michigan counties in 2005 and was expanded to 27 counties in 2006 with support from AAA Michigan.
"Of nearly 1,600 vehicles registered in the program, there have been no reported accidents or injuries," said Jack Peet, Manager of Community Safety Services for AAA Michigan. "In addition, there were only three letters that needed to be sent to parents. That tells me the teen drivers are seeing the sticker and thinking twice about taking unsafe chances they might otherwise take when it comes to driving."
Secretary Land will join Peet, Jungel and Kalamazoo County Sheriff Michael Anderson to formally announce the program expansion at MSA's Summer Training Conference at Crystal Mountain on Monday, June 11, 2007. Along with AAA Michigan, Secretary Land was a proponent of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program now in place in Michigan, which provides practical driving experience with limitations prior to allowing unrestrained driving freedom.
The Michigan Sheriffs' Association, created in 1877, is the oldest law enforcement organization in the state. For more information about the Michigan Sheriffs' Association, or to join as a citizen or business member, please visit our Web site at www.michigansheriff.com.