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Grass Up Your Kids To The Local Police

ABC 12 | October 10 2006

Parents, listen up. How would you like to keep a closer eye on what your son or daughter is doing behind the wheel?

You can through a program called "STOPPED: Sheriff's Telling Our Parents & Promoting Educated Drivers."

The program is in 27 counties in Michigan. Sheriff's departments in Saginaw, Bay, Gratiot, Arenac and Huron counties are all on board.

The goal is to reduce risky teenage driving by getting parents involved. If a ticket is paid for and taken care of, young driver's don't have to tell their parents if they got pulled over and got a ticket.

The program, organized by the Michigan Sheriff's Association, allows law-enforcement officials to notify parents when their teens are pulled over in cars owned by their parents.

The most recent national survey by Students Against Drunk Drivers in 2000 said 75 percent of teens wouldn't tell their parents if they were pulled over for any reason.

STOPPED changes that. Here's how it works: Parents put decals on cars used by driver's under 21.

The cars are registered in a central database with the family's information so parents can be notified when their young drivers are stopped.

Parents are notified any time the car is stopped. The time and location of the stop, the driver's name and the number of people in the car, the reason for the stop and whether or not any citations were given are logged.

Saginaw County Sheriff Charles Brown has signed up for the program.

"Other counties have tested this," he said. "It actually has saved some kids' lives. These kids don't realize adding a few kids to the car creates a dangerous situation in the car."

Tuscola County Sheriff Tom Kern says about 80 to 90 cars are registered since county started participating when the program started last year.

In Tuscola County last year, 601 crashes involved teenage drivers according to the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

It's too early to say if the program is working or not. He says they haven't pulled over anyone with the decals.

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