Let us start with the facts:
- 16 year olds are 20 times more likely than 17 & 18 year olds to be involved in a collision during their first year as a licensed driver
- Nationwide collision reports show that 37% of 16 year olds involved in fatal collisions were speeding
- Nearly half of all teen collisions involve a single vehicle
- More than 60% of teen passenger deaths occur when another teen is driving
- First year drivers have a greater than 95% probability of being involved in a collision during their first year of driving
If those are the facts, then there is a problem. Here is the answer: Sheriff’s Teen Traffic Offender Program (STTOP). The STTOP program is designed to intervene when a young driver displays poor judgment or dangerous driving behavior. Due to the lack of maturity and driving experience, there is a high incident rate of new teenage drivers being involved in collisions.
Here’s how it works: Citizens who witness unsafe and/or dangerous driving behavior exhibited by a teenage driver can call 1-877-310-STOP (7867). If the witness can obtain the vehicle license plate number and a description of the vehicle, it will greatly help the Sheriff’s Department get in touch with the teenager and his/her parents. If there is a need for an immediate response please call 9-1-1 (actual accident or injury occurred). By providing the Sheriff’s Department with the vehicle’s license plate information and notification of the witnessed occurrence, it allows public safety personnel to work with the offender even if the unsafe driving behavior is not directly witnessed by the Sheriff’s patrol deputies.
The programs’ purpose is not to prosecute, but to correct and educate the offender and his/her parents. Often times, parents are unaware of the unsafe driving behavior that their teenager is exhibiting. This program utilizes the ability to educate a teenage driver before it is too late. The elimination of this type of reckless driving benefits all of the drivers on the road. This program works through the collaboration of the members of the community and Sheriff personnel and can only work with your help.
Please report unsafe teenage driving behavior (anonymous calls ARE accepted) 1-877-310-STOP (7867). Please remember, its not snitching but rather saving a young person’s life. For more information about the STTOP program, please see www.sttop.net or call Deputy John Peck at (818) 878-1808.