Parents of teen drivers get letters from sheriff

Carroll office provides details of violations


Parents of four teenage drivers have received letters from the Carroll County sheriff this month with details of their children's motor vehicle violations. Not one parent has inquired about the citations, most of which were for dangerous driving, officials said.

The letter, which begins: "In the interest of public safety and that of your child," names the driver and gives the time, location and any pertinent details of the violation.

"I was prepared for parents to call to ask for circumstances of the stop," said Maj. Thomas H. Long, a Sheriff's Department spokesman and chief of the field services bureau. "I hoped parents would read the letter and see the need for some type of corrective action."

The Sheriff's Office implemented the program Nov. 1, after crafting a policy based on an effort initiated by the Maryland State Police. Parental notification might reduce accidents caused by the potentially "deadly combination" of youth and inexperience, officials said. The effort targets 16- and 17-year-olds.

Noting the State Highway Administration's Speed Kills campaign, Long said, "These speeds, coupled with inexperience and the added vigilance required with nighttime driving, especially now with wildlife on the roads, are a deadly combination for our youth."

All the violations referred to in the letters occurred at night.

One youth was cited for spinning wheels and excessive noise. Two others were involved in significant speeding incidents, Long said. One 16-year-old was traveling 82 mph in a 50-mph zone near Mount Airy, on a stretch of road with a high incidence of accidents.

The other speeder was a 17-year-old, found driving at 85 mph in a 55-mph zone near Manchester. The fourth violation involved a 17-year-old who did not have the vehicle's registration available.

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