New Delaware County group targets teen drivers


Teen drivers wheel away from high schools every day by the hundreds. They drive out onto country roads and city streets, leaving behind the safety and security of the school.

And in the worst, most heartbreaking cases, they leave behind classmates who have been tragically killed.

Mitchell Young is one of them. He was killed in a car crash. Young was the son of Lara Foster's best friend.

"I don't want to see someone ever have to go through that again," Foster said in a recent interview.

Foster is spearheading the SAFE Delaware County Coalition. She is also asking for help for the area's inexperienced drivers: "We just need to realize how valuable life is and people need to step back and help these kids learn what they need to learn before we put them behind metal like that and trusting them with their life and other people's lives."

SAFE and the Ohio State Highway Patrol are dedicating the annual traffic crash memorial to the 20 teens who have died in Delaware County in the last decade. Half of those killed were passengers. Half were also not wearing seatbelts.

OHP says complaints come in regularly about unkind drivers tailgating and driving aggressively around new drivers who may be taking their time to be safe on the road.

Foster says, don't automatically blame the kids, "People just need to remember that that's someone's child and if that was your child driving, would you do that to them?"

The SAFE Delaware County Coalition is also planning a closer look at driver's education courses, looking for ways to subsidize the cost and make the teaching more consistent.