Richland County Safe Communities Coalition urges safe driving during homecoming events


Driving is the most dangerous thing a teen driver can do. More teenagers are killed in traffic crashes than any other cause.

Always remember to make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled-up. Using your seat belt will decrease the chances for serious injury in a crash by 55 percent and of fatality by 45 percent.

Keep a safe speed when driving. Speeding, combined with young, mostly inexperienced drivers behind the wheel, is a deadly combination.

Never drink and drive. Underage consumption of alcohol is illegal and there is no legal limit (zero tolerance) for underage drinking and driving. Talk to your teen about never being a passenger in a vehicle where the driver may have been consuming alcohol (even if it is their date).

Never use a cell phone while driving. Especially stay away from texting while driving. The driver should always give his or her cell phone to someone else in the vehicle if it must be used.

Cut down the distraction in the car. Remember that Ohio has a graduated licensing law.

The Richland County Safe Communities Coalition is asking for help from parents of teenagers as homecoming events for local schools begin.

“We’re simply asking parents to remind their teens of the importance of careful driving when going to or coming from Homecoming activities either as a driver or passenger,” said Reed Richmond, Health Educator for Richland Public Health and a Safe Communities Coalition spokesperson.

“We’re confident that parents are talking to their teens about safe driving practices, but the message is crucially important from parents during this time,” Richmond said. “Parents simply can’t put enough emphasis on this message.”

Probationary driver license holders under the age of 17 are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle with more than one person who is not a family member in the vehicle. Studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have shown that one passenger doubles the risk of a crash among teen drivers, two passengers triple the risk, and three or more passengers increase the risk by more than six.

Probationary driver license holders under the age of 17 are prohibited from driving between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“If your child will be a passenger is someone else’s vehicle during homecoming events, it’s important they know these rules as well and can tell the rest of the occupants in the vehicle,” Richmond said.

“We realize that the intent of Homecoming is to have a good time and that this may not be the most popular thing to talk about, or for your teen to tell others. But knowing these driving rules and communicating with your teen could just prevent a tragedy on a Homecoming weekend.”

For more information call 419-774-4726 or see the Ohio Teen Driver resources online atwww.richlandhealth.org and type “teen driver” in the search box.

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Driving is the most dangerous thing a teen driver can do. More teenagers are killed in traffic crashes than any other cause.

Always remember to make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled-up. Using your seat belt will decrease the chances for serious injury in a crash by 55 percent and of fatality by 45 percent.

Keep a safe speed when driving. Speeding, combined with young, mostly inexperienced drivers behind the wheel, is a deadly combination.

Never drink and drive. Underage consumption of alcohol is illegal and there is no legal limit (zero tolerance) for underage drinking and driving. Talk to your teen about never being a passenger in a vehicle where the driver may have been consuming alcohol (even if it is their date).

Never use a cell phone while driving. Especially stay away from texting while driving. The driver should always give his or her cell phone to someone else in the vehicle if it must be used.

Cut down the distraction in the car. Remember that Ohio has a graduated licensing law.