CLEVELAND- New figures suggest teenage drivers are in more danger – and pose more danger when they are on the roads.
A proposal in the Ohio Legislature would tighten the state’s teen driving laws, an idea that one parent who lost her child thinks is overdue.
Stella Mayher lost her only child, Kailee, when her daughter was killed in an accident in their hometown of Strongsville.
A teenage driver was behind the wheel.
Mayher supports a proposal that would extend from six to twelve months the length of time that a new teen driver has to have a learner’s permit in Ohio.
If passed, it means that teens couldn’t get a full driver’s license until they are 16½.
The sponsors in the Ohio Legislature say they need to balance convenience to parents with the safety of children.
They indicate, if their proposal goes too far, it likely won’t pass.
Stella Mayher believes the convenience of parents shouldn’t be a factor.
“You know what my inconvenience is?” she’s asked. “I don’t have my child. How about that?”
As FOX 8 News reported in our half-hour special entitled “Distracted to Death,” teen driving fatalities basically fell for a generation, thanks to safer cars and stricter teen driving laws.
Then, in 2013, that trend suddenly reversed itself, with the number of deaths climbing every year for several years.
Now, new figures from the Dayton Daily News indicate that, while teens are five percent of Ohio’s drivers, they are involved in about fifteen percent of its accidents.
Stella hopes the new proposal passes the Ohio Legislature and will one day be known as “Kailee’s Law.”
“I need to keep her memory alive,” she said. “I don’t want this to happen to another family.”