04/29/10 — Lives lost: Keeping teens safe should be top priority for parents, officials

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Lives lost: Keeping teens safe should be top priority for parents, officials

The North Carolina Highway Patrol has seen the worst of the worst -- youngsters who die much too young because they were not paying close enough attention or because they were driving recklessly on curvy county roads.

And this week, two more Johnston County teenagers will not make it to their graduation days because of an accident that likely could have been prevented.

Teaching teens about the dangers of texting while driving is just one way to get across to them how quickly something that seems so innocent can end up taking a life.

But there is more, so much more, parents and schools and others who deal with teenagers can do to make sure Wayne County does not have to mourn any more young people whose lives ended before they even had a chance to begin.

Teens absolutely must understand the responsibility that goes along with owning a car -- the dangers, the need to focus and what can happen if you drink anything alcoholic and get behind the wheel.

And if that means showing them what happens in a crash and showing them how much they can be impaired when they are fiddling with a cell phone, then that is exactly what needs to happen.

Rules should be strict for teenagers when it comes to cars because they are fearless. They think they are indestructible and that bad stuff like deadly crashes will never happen to them.

We need to teach them just how vulnerable they are when they are piloting or riding in a car or truck.

As prom season and graduations approach, it is more important than ever to make sure they get this message loud and clear.

Published in Editorials on April 29, 2010 10:47 AM