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Great Hang Up: Teen Driving Commission | News

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Great Hang Up: Teen Driving Commission
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A group of teens from across the state want police and legislators to crack down on distracted drivers.

Last fall, Governor Nathan Deal created a teen driving commission to advise state legislators and agencies on ways to keep people's eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Member Baylee Culverhouse told 13WMAZ's Katelyn Heck, "One thing we're all passionate about is keeping teens safe and keeping them distraction-free, keeping you free of impairment, and keeping you free of texting.  I think one of the most important things is that we are keeping people aware of what's going on, and hopefully we will see changes in the next few years."

Changes like revamping the state's Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program to focus more on distracted driving, adding questions about the no-texting law to the drivers license test, and raising awareness through ads and state signs along highways.

The students involved also want to see stricter punishments for those caught texting behind the wheel.

"Part of our work was, we would talk to police officers, and what we kept hearing was, 'We don't want to give them fines, because who pays the fines? The parents.  And if you revoke the license, if it goes that far, who is going to drive them?' The parents.  So we got to thinking what we could do to punish teens without punishing their parents," explained Felicia Ashley, a member from Macon.

The Georgia Teen Driving Commission is now looking at community service as an alternative.  The group also wants schools to get involved by asking students to sign a pledge saying they will not text and drive, before they can receive a school parking permit.

One student told us, "As a senior in high school, my parking is gold to me.  And if they take that away, I will definitely learn my lesson."

But what's really golden, these commission members tell us, is bringing the number of distracted driving deaths down to zero.

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