Jefferson City's First Impact driving program helps create safer teen drivers

6 days 22 hours 38 minutes ago Monday, January 13 2020 Jan 13, 2020 Monday, January 13, 2020 4:45:00 AM CST January 13, 2020 in Top Stories
By: Isabella Ledonne, KOMU 8 Reporter

JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police Department is hosting First Impact on Monday at 6 p.m.

First Impact is designed for parents to learn more about Missouri's Graduated Driver License Law for their teenage drivers. The event is a 60 to 90 minute class that raises awareness about teen driving risks and provides safe driving tips.

Doug Ruediger is the Sergeant of JCPD Traffic. He explained the importance of First Impact for soon-to-be drivers.

"It's about educating parents on the graduated license, whether it be a permit or their immediate license," Ruediger said. "For us it helps getting parents involved, knowing what that license is, knowing what the restrictions are, and that helps their teen be a better and safer driver."

While the program is open to both parents and teens, First Impact is directed more towards informing parents on how to help their teen drive safely on the roads.

One of the biggest problems for teens on the road is wearing a seatbelt. A Teen Safety Belt Observational Survey conducted by the State of Missouri showed in 2018 the safety belt use for all teenage drivers and teenage passengers was 73.8%. Ruediger said he hopes this program can increase seatbelt usage.

"We would like to see that [number] go up," Ruediger said. "With this program we can get that number pushed higher which would lessen injuries and hopefully prevent fatalities."

First Impact is a community based event and everyone is welcome. To register, click here. Those unable to attend are encouraged to reach out to Sgt. Ruediger or their local law enforcement to set up another First Impact class for the community.

First Impact will be at the Jefferson City Police Department located at 401 Monroe St. It is scheduled to last until 7:30 p.m.

"The more parents we can get involved and get educated, the more effective the program will be," Ruediger said.

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