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Johnston County urges teens to teach each other about safe driving

Posted September 21, 2011

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— Johnston County officials and school leaders kicked off a teen driving safety campaign Wednesday that encourages teens to talk with each other about the importance of buckling up, slowing down and being smart behind the wheel.

The county has long had one of the highest numbers of teen auto fatalities in the state; 40 teens have died in car wrecks since 2005. Seat belts weren't used in 44 percent of those wrecks.

County and school leaders have tried multiple initiatives in the last decade to get the safety message to stick with new drivers, but say they are confident this school year.

"I think it's pretty cool that the kids themselves have embraced it," said NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, who was the keynote speaker at the kickoff luncheon. "There's been so many deaths in this county from traffic fatalities for teenagers that this is an important thing."

Linda Carroll, who heads the county's teen driving committee, said she feels good about the peer-to-peer approach used in this year's safety campaign.

"What's going to make this work are teens – teens leading other teens in their school to make smarter decisions, to make it cool to drive with their seat belts on," Carroll said.

Adryan Joyner Johnston County students embrace teen driving campaign

County and school leaders also said they've stepped up their efforts over the last year to urge state lawmakers to put stricter guidelines and better training in place for teen drivers.

Princeton High School senior Adryan Joyner said he got involved with the county's efforts after he lost a classmate in a car wreck two years ago. Students like him are being paired up with school and county leaders and participating in training sessions so they can relay important driving information to their classmates. They've also produced a public service announcement to promote safety in the driver's seat.

"We're inexperienced drivers and we all need experience, to be told to be safe," Joyner said.

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday that it will require new drivers to log more than 72 hours behind the wheel before being granted a full driver's license, starting in January.

Teen drivers must first turn in a signed log documenting 60 hours in the driver's seat under a parent's supervision and then a second log with an additional 12 hours of driving, including six hours at night. 


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  • frankgibson99 Sep 22, 2011

    Great story. MOTOsafety, your teen driving coach, is a new service that gives parents a great way to monitor and coach their teenage drivers. The tool provides insights on safe driving habits such as speeding, harsh braking and rapid acceleration. MOTOsafety gives parents a great tool for increasing the safety of teens on the road. Learn more at http://www.motosafety.com.

  • Not_Time_Yet Sep 22, 2011

    I'm a fan of showing them photos of the dead, life size full color pics of the carnage. Not the G-rated ones from the news but of course we couldn't take a chance on offending anyones delicate sensibilities. So another year will go by with a large percentage of that 40 thousand dead being teens. Cell phones, speed, running red lights, and lack of seat belts will continue to kill a number of teens and others each year. Teens feel indestructable, have total faith in their own skills, and think adults are just scared old people trying to prevent their fun. So used the internet, search out those gory deadly accident photos, and posted them on the garage door. Maybe, just maybe a few of the kids will think about the consequences of their own actions.

  • sixnitepkg Sep 22, 2011

    roderickgorham... Yes, I DO know my limitations... but contrary to what you probably think I am a highly trained professional driver... I have been in EMS, and worked in Mobile Intensive care (Duke Lifeflight ground units, and Richland Mem.(South Carolina) Hospital Neonatal and Pediatric MICU's for 20 years. I've completed Emergency Vehicle Operations courses (E.V.O.C. I and II) and N.C. Certified emergency vehicle operator course (CEVO), and prior to that was a trained federal drivers license holder (ie. trained in evasive and defensive driving for driving dignitaries)

    Knowing your limitations, and the capabilities and limitations of the vehicle you are driving is being a competent and safe driver!!

  • roderickgorham Sep 22, 2011

    Lets just hope that they listen and take this to heart.

  • ConcernedNCC Sep 22, 2011

    sixnitepkg: I guess you know your limitations. That's admirable. But there are classes for adults, too, if you need it. The problem at the school is that theer are just so many hours that they can work with a child behind the wheel. The parent has to take some responsibility.

  • RM24 Sep 22, 2011

    Lets shelter them some more. Maybe instead of not driving until like 35 or so then lets keep them from even walking out of the house until like 18 or so.

  • sixnitepkg Sep 21, 2011

    might I suggest #1 pass a law that no teenager can be behind the wheel of a high performance car or structurally altered (ie. lift - kit) truck? 50% or more of these kids were in jacked up pickups or mustangs, camaros (or some other sports car) parents who buy their 16 year-old a 300 horsepower 1 ton car are not to be pitied, they should be charged with 1st degree murder!

    #2 actually TEACH kids how to drive! my son just completed drivers ed, and I could not believe they were telling the parents "teach your kids to drive" - BRILLIANT!! the fools teaching the ignorant... heck, the parents are horrible drivers! why would you want THEM to teach their kids how to drive??
    how about some actual driving course time?

  • twc Sep 21, 2011

    How about we improve driver education? What are the majority of the accidents? Over correcting after running onto the shoulder!

    How many are given the experience of actually running off onto the shoulder? Most are just told about it. They don't get to actually DO it!

    Make that a PRIORITY! Actual run-offs! Build a course to do it. Nothing prepares one for the chaotic sound of running onto the shoulder except running onto the shoulder. The vehicle will sound as if it's being torn to pieces but the driver MUST NOT swerve back onto the pavement nor hit the brakes. They must experience not panicking and as calm as possible letting the vehicle slow itself down.

    That needs to be taught hands-on! No other way is sufficient!

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Sep 21, 2011



    Forgive me for sounding so similar, but no wonder kids think adults are stupid.

    And the majority of them is going to think anyone in their peer group preaching about safety is "square."

    NASCAR drivers might be able to help a lot with this, but the average adult or member of their peer group, I seriously doubt it.

  • working for deadbeats Sep 21, 2011

    "Obama Hood - Of course they need to learn that, but just how do you propose we teach it?"

    I bet some troopers or officers who are drivers training instructors would be happy to teach them on a volunteer basis. Make it a volunteer basis for the students too. I'll volunteer.