Would you know if your teen driver was pulled over or got a ticket?
If you’re concerned your driving-age son or daughter might hide this fact from you, you’re in luck – there’s a program designed to make sure you find out about it.
The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association has launched the STOPPED program in conjunction with State Farm that lets parents know if their teen got pulled over by the police, WXYZ reports.
How the STOPPED program works
The program – which stands for Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers – is voluntary and requires parents to register to take part.
Parents can register any car, boat, off-road vehicle, moped or motorcycle operated by a driver under 21, MSA notes. These drivers get a stop sign-shaped decal to place in the top-left corner of their rear windshields – “where it serves as a constant reminder to the teen to always drive as if his/her parents are in the car,” the MSA adds on its website.
Once a parent signs up, he or she will be notified via text 48 hours after his or her child was pulled over and received a ticket.
Why the delay? It’s actually so teens have a chance to tell parents themselves first, the WXYZ article explains.
“In the event a deputy makes a traffic stop with a young driver, the deputy locates the STOPPED sticker, puts the corresponding number into an internet-based program and hits the send button,” Blaine Koops, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, says in the article.
“The deputy then tells the driver that their parent will receive either a text message or email regarding the traffic stop. But the deputy informs the young driver that they have 48 hours to discuss the event with their parents before the parent receives the message.”
When teens get pulled over
Whether their parents find out about the traffic stop or not, it’s important that teens are prepared for what to do if they’re stopped by police. If they’ve forgotten what they learned in driver’s training – or just need a quick refresher – be sure to emphasize these key points from the Michigan State Police with your teen.
- If you’re getting pulled over, move your vehicle to the right side of the road as soon as it’s safe.
- Keep calm, remain still and stay in your vehicle. When the officer approaches, open your driver’s side window and keep your hands in sight on the steering wheel.
- Provide your driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Don’t argue about the reason for a citation; this can be done in court.
- When the traffic stop is over and the officer says it’s OK to leave, be careful when re-entering traffic.