Harrisburg, PA,
08:00 AM

Teens want stronger teen driver laws

Craving and creating positive change in Pennsylvania

Today’s youth want to create positive change in their communities, contrary to some opinions of this generation. They are more than just social media and phone obsessed teens. In fact, 23 student leaders from Pennsylvania want their peers to put down those very phones and just drive.

This group of inspiring leaders are part of SADD – Students Against Destructive Decisions, supported by State Farm. In April of 2016, the group attended the Pennsylvania SADD Youth Safety Summit. There they spoke about wanting to prevent tragedies in the form of auto crashes from happening to their peers. They want to make sure new drivers get the experience behind the wheel they need and to help enact policy changes that will keep them safe.

The Pennsylvania high schoolers, equipped with relevant information, candidly discussed teen driver laws, specifically an amendment to a larger distracted driving bill. The bill, if passed, would require a zero tolerance policy for teen drivers when it comes to electronic devices (phones).

After a serious and thoughtful discussion, the teens decided to not only back the bill but share their opinions with decision makers – Pennsylvania state legislators.

The students met with their elected officials and shared state teen driving statistics and the improvements they want to see made to the state’s teen driver safety laws. They also left this experience inspired, knowing they may save lives by speaking up about the teen driving culture and are pushing for changes that could save even more.

"I'm grateful to have been given the amazing opportunity to be part of something greater that will save lives through teen traffic safety changes,” shared Rina Shokes a senior at East Pennsboro High and PA SADD Student of the Year. “Speaking with my State Senator Pat Vance was empowering and I felt prepared to answer questions about teen driving laws and changes needed to current state laws. If we (teens) continue to work with elected officials I hope to see a distracted driving ban for all drivers."

"Students engaging in traffic safety policy have the ability to create lasting change that will save lives on our roadways,” shared Felicity DeBacco-Erni, PA SADD, State Coordinator. “I am privileged to engage with young Pennsylvanian leaders who are so passionate about saving the lives of their peers."

This group of students wants to remind their fellow teens – and all drivers - to put down their phones and just drive. That text can wait.