News 12 First at Five / Friday, March 22, 2013
EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- Twenty-two high school students from across Georgia have spent the past eight months coming up with ways to reduce the number of teenage deaths in traffic accidents.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death in teenagers and that's what the students are hoping to change. They've been working for months to come up with ways to help, and this week they presented their plan.
"Why have adults say what teens think and do?" said Tourner Moseley, a member of the Governor's Commission on Teen Driving. "I mean, they were teenagers once, but it was a lot different back then. I'm sure they didn't have the distraction of an iPhone."
Tourner is a sophomore at Greenbrier High School.
In August, the Governor's Office selected a statewide board of teenagers to help find a way to lower the number of teen deaths caused by traffic accidents.
"It's unacceptable for driving to be the number one cause of teen deaths," Tourner said.
Tourner decided to apply to the commission after a friend's experience.
"His brother, he was driving and texting and he crossed the road and his brother died," he explained. "His whole family was affected by it and just his story is heartbreaking."
This week, the teens presented their suggestions to state lawmakers, including a complete overhaul of the alcohol and drug awareness program for high schools.
"We decided that all the information in there was just kinda all pushed in there too much and the information was kinda old," Tourner said.
They recommended banning any kind of cellphone use for all drivers, as well as harsher penalties for texting while driving like community service.
"Most people think that impaired driving is just drinking and driving, but it's really anything that distracts you," Tourner said.
He knows those distractions can end a life in the blink of an eye.
Last year, teenage deaths from car accidents in Georgia decreased and that's a trend they are hoping this commission will help continue.