Michigan expands young drivers’ notification program

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) — An electronic program that notifies Michigan parents when their young drivers are pulled over is expanding across the state.

Livingston and Mason counties were chosen to try the program for drivers 21 and under, called Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers, or STOPPED, more than a year ago, the Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported . Other Michigan sheriffs will be able to sign up this month.

Parents can register any vehicle that will be operated by their child on the Michigan Sheriffs' Association website. They'll receive a sticker to place on the vehicle's back windshield that has an identification number, which deputies will input into an online system to notify parents in the event of a traffic stop.

The driver's parents will be notified immediately by text message or email.

Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy told WHMI-FM that the program aims to build accountability between young drivers and their parents.

He said the program isn't about parents spying on children, but rather about conversations that can promote safe driving.

The program has been around for nearly a decade. But parents were previously notified through mailed letters that could arrive weeks after a traffic stop, said Deputy Brad Neff.
"This gives immediate consequence," Neff said.

State Rep. Hank Vaupel praised the program for helping police and parents teach children that they're accountable for their actions.

Insurance company State Farm donated more than $25,000 to bring the program online, and contributed another $15,000 this year.

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