Teen Driving Crashes May Have Been Prevented
Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Valley, NE-Wednesday, teens at Valley High School came to school saddened by the news that one of their classmates, 15-year-old Taylon Artman, had been killed the night before after being tossed from a car.
The crash that killed Artman on August 27 should have never happened, police say. According to the Lancaster county Sheriff's department, the 15-year-old driver was behind the wheel illegally. The driver had a learner's permit but did not have a 21-year-old in the car. In Nebraska, a driver with a learner's permit must have a licensed driver in the closest seat to the driver.
"No part of what they were doing was legal," Captain Ben Houchin said.
"Waverly is a small town, there is nothing to do here sometimes, so people do cruise gravel roads and stuff," Diana Koval, a 16 year old in Waverly said.
It seems like common sense, drive safe, wear a seat belt, but the numbers show teens are still disregarding the rules. In Nebraska last year, 79% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.
Violating permit restrictions was also the case earlier this summer in a Freemont crash. Four teens rolled over a car, killing three of the four onboard. The driver only had a POP, or provisional operating permit for a couple of months.
"With a POP, with the first 6 months of that permit, they are restricted to having only one passenger who is an immediate family member in the vehicle with them," said Beverly Reicks, CEO of the National Safety Council Nebraska.
She says that these tragic cases could have been prevented.
"Your heart goes out the parents and the family of the victims, but what it really comes down to is we as parents and as adults need to be supervising kids about the dangerous things they might be doing. Especially driving," Reicks said.
Nebraska doesn't require Driver's Ed in school. Parents can enroll in private schools that can charge up to $350 to $375 for the course. Reicks says it's important for teens to get their permits early, and for parents to take them out on all kinds of roads in all kinds of conditions, to get comfortable driving.