Pre-prom driving safety seminar held for students and parents -

Pre-prom driving safety seminar held for students and parents

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It's a rite of passage most teens cannot wait to get their hands on, being given the keys to the car. Tuesday, in Ocean City, police officials and the New Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance presented a driving safety seminar at Ocean City High School.

"In New Jersey there's about 43,000 teen crashes a year. Teens comprise of a little over 5 percent of our drivers, but are involved in 11 percent of the fatalities. So teen crashes and teen fatalities are very high," says traffic safety specialist Wayne Shelton.

As prom, is some of the busiest teen driving nights of the year, students who helped organize the event felt it was important to reach out to their peers.

"With prom coming up we do a lot more safety presentations and assemblies, to kind of get kids more aware of the dangers you can encounter on the road," says Ocean City High School Senior and Students Against Destructive De scions President.

Dozens of parents along with students turned out for the presentation including moms like Susan Shirk, who also needed a brush–up on teen driving laws.

"I think it's a great idea. I was not that familiar with all the restrictions on teen licenses so I think its great to inform the parents," says Shirk.

Her son Jason, who plans to attend NYU in the fall, was amazed by the data of teen driving.

"The statistics on how many crashes kids get in, and how dangerous it can be to use your cell phone while driving is kind of a eye opener," says the high school Senior.

"This is just one way to combat those teen crashes and fatalities by basically offering an educational program to the parent who's with their teen tonight," claims Shelton.

So as students and parents like the shirks prepare for the prom season and beyond, both agree that working together is best.

"Parents are definitely the primary person a teen learns to drive from so I think a lot of responsibility is put on both parties," says Jason.

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