AAA Encouraging Driving Contracts for Teens

AAA Encouraging Driving Contracts for Teens

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Kimberly Houk ReportingAAA wants teenagers to be more responsible behind the wheel of the car, and they think a driving contract between parents and young drivers will make teens more accountable for bad driving.

In the past week three teenagers were killed in car accidents. Now many are looking for ways to make the roads safer for teens and for others. One way they think they can do this is with driving contracts. But will they work?

Research shows that driving contracts are effective, but only if parents enforce them. AAA is passing around a safe driving kit to both parents and students. It has something different in it -- a contract.

Rolayne Fairclough, AAA: “If you have your expectations laid out and try to meet your teen's expectations and it's all in a contract, basically the contract does all the arguing or the talking for you."

The contract is signed by both parents and their young driver. It requires teens to follow some basic rules such as, all passengers must wear seatbelts, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and they have to promise not to let their friends drive the car.

But the contract is not binding by law, only by parents.

Scott McDonald, Davis County: “For me personally, I don't know that a contract would work with our family because my children wouldn't require that. But for other families they might."

James Ward, Salt Lake City: “I think it's very relevant. I think it leads to the student not just looking to the system, but there's a higher accounting to parents in the student's mind."

Jane Stringham, West High Student: If it was the only way they were going to let me drive, I think I would sign it, because I want to drive."

Recent incidents emphasize just how important good driving can be, especially for teens. Over the weekend one young driver was instantly killed when she made a left hand turn into oncoming traffic near U-111. And this past Wednesday, two American Fork boys were killed when they veered into the oncoming lane, over corrected, and ran into a fence.

But officials say it's up to parents to help their teens become better drivers.

Rolayne Fairclough, AAA: “Have your teens take different kinds of driving experiences. Take them on a freeway. Take them on mountain roads. Take them out at night."

You can get a copy of the driving contract through any high school's driver's education department.

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