Howard police hope to protect new drivers

Department to tell parents of infractions

March 29, 2006|By MELISSA HARRIS | MELISSA HARRIS,SUN REPORTER

Howard County police will notify parents if their children are pulled over or cause an accident while driving with a provisional license under new rules announced yesterday.

The policy, which mirrors one Maryland State Police adopted in 2003, goes into effect April 17.

Officers will try to contact the parent by phone. If that is unsuccessful, a form letter will be mailed including the time and location of the incident, type of violation, the vehicle, punishment and number of people in the car.

Baltimore County and city police leave such notification decisions up to individual officers.

"People between the ages of 16 and 20 are our highest-risk group for serious injury and fatal collisions," said Sherry Llewellyn, a Howard police spokeswoman. "We are trying everything that we can think of to have an impact on this age group."

So far this year, four teenagers have died in car accidents in Howard County as Police Chief Wayne Livesay's teen traffic safety initiative enters its second year.

Marylanders can obtain a provisional license as early as age 16 and 3 months. Provisional drivers cannot transport anyone younger than 18 aside from immediate family members, drive between midnight and 5 a.m. or use a cellular or hands-free device, except when calling 911.

melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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