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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Florida Targets New Teen Drivers

New Website Stresses Safe Driving Habits

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has unveiled a new Web site to reach out to teens about the importance of safety when behind the wheel.

The Web site: includes written and video testimonials from teens talking about their close calls in vehicle crashes.

"Keeping teens safe is our greatest responsibility," said Electra Theodorides-Bustle, executive director of DHSMV.

Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among U.S teens. Over 36,000 teen drivers (age 15-19) were involved in crashes in Florida last year, according to the site.

Information about drunk driving and distractions, as well as quizzes of Florida's traffic-safety laws, can be found on the site.

The site was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation's safety office.

According to Kim Jones, Projects and Programs Coordinator for the Florida Highway Patrol, the Web site allows students to upload their own testimonials as well.

Brandon Donaldson, 16, was headed to the movies with a friend. When they hit 80 mph, the car hydroplaned. Donaldson, who was not wearing his seat belt, was thrown from the car. Incredibly, he only has a few scars to show from the crash.

Recently, Donaldson, spoke about the crash at a news conference at Leon High School, calling on all students to "make smarter decisions."

Two laptops were set up in front of the high school after the conference to give students a chance to look at the site.

"It looks like teens could really relate to (the site)," Brejourne Williams, who at 16 has her learner's permit. "(Hearing about teen deaths and crashes) makes me want to drive safer."

Along with motor vehicle safety, driver education helps ensure the safety of Americans. Whether you're getting your Commercial Drivers License, your Learner's Permit, or your Motorcycle License, America's Driver's License Headquarters is

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