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Low turnout at parent-teen safe driving event

While San Benito County has the third highest teen driver fatality rate in California due to reckless driving, BenitoLink Junior Journalism reporter Diana Lopez found herself to be the only attendee at a weekend workshop.

This article was contributed by Diana Lopez with the BenitoLink Junior Journalism Project.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and California Department of Motor Vehicles held a parent-teen safety driving workshop on Saturday, April 20 in Hollister.

The workshop highlighted a shocking number of statics like 75% of car crashes are not caused by drinking or drugs, but by distractions. Most shockingly though is the fact that San Benito County has the third highest teen driver fatality rate in California due to reckless driving, according to California Highway Patrol.

Despite that, my mother and I were the only people in attendance at the workshop.

“We’ve tried everything to try and get this city to care," CHP Officer Chris Miceli said. "We’ve scheduled on days less busiest, we’ve brought in translators, and even people affected by reckless driving, yet we always end up having low to no attendance.”

Workshop instructors talked about the consequences of distracted driving and used real life examples like the cases of Donovan Tessmer of Madera and Natalie Salcido of Gilroy. Donovan was just 16 when he died due to reckless driving. Natalie was one week shy of 16 when she died due to distracted driving.

In an effort to reach out to the teens in San Benito County, Miceli has scheduled two days of assemblies at San Benito High School in May.


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Submitted by (Sol plasencia) on

Try going to church youth groups. Or outside events like kids at the park to announce to parents  who have teenage kids.

I heard about this event and I don't even have kids.  What a shame to waste this officer's time and those resources.  You might think - kids and parents - that this kind of tragedy won't happen to you. Let me tell you that it can and it will.  Talk to your kids about their choices. So you won't have to make those choices no parent wants to make, like life support or closed casket or open casket. 

Submitted by (Jeff A) on

Since there is no classroom driver education offered in high schools the State needs to make this presentation a requirement for new drivers.  Or insurance companies offer an incentive for attending this presentation.  Along with this driver safety presentation a class needs to be given to children on "how to properly cross a street". Many times I've watched as pedestrians just step off the curb staring at cell phone not looking for on coming traffic.

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