Traffic Court Judge Uses Maria’s Message As Teaching Tool


Judge Terre Vandervoot of Fairfield County is not only a judge, but a mother who is passionate about educating teen traffic offenders about the potential dangers of teen driving.

“When they walk out that door, take that moment to hug them and tell them that you love them,” says Judge Vandervoot to the parents of the teen drivers.

That’s why she shows everyone who walks into her courtroom Maria’s Message.  The effects of the video are instantaneous; Vandervoort notices that many people in the court room are in tears after watching the powerful three minute montage. 

Teen drivers are listening, too.   According to one of them, “It’s very informative and shows the example of the dangers of texting and driving.”

Haley Sarh almost got in an accident trying to avoid someone texting while driving.  “They were swerving back and forth across the road; I went around and just so happened to go over the speed limit at the same time,” she explains. 

Just last month, AAA released a study that distracted driving is to blame in 60% of teen accidents. 

Judge Vandervoort is committed to lowering that percentage by telling every teenager who walks into her courtroom this simple statement, “If you don’t listen and you don’t pay attention, we might lose you."  

This should serve as a good reminder to all of us - when you're driving, keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind on driving. 


VIDEO: Maria's Message
The Tiberi family talks about the loss of their daughter and the mission of Maria's Message

Register for the Maria's Message Presentation at Otterbein University
Please join 10TV’s Dom Tiberi,Jerry Revish and Kristyn Hartman, along with special guests for this interactive presentation which focuses on the prevention of distracted driving. 

Take the Maria’s Message Pledge: 
I pledge to: keep my hands on the wheel, keep my eyes on the road, keep my mind on my driving.
If I keep my hands, eyes, and mind where they should be, I can keep myself safe and keep Maria’s Message alive.