Friday night fun could add up to danger on roadways - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Friday night fun could add up to danger on roadways

August 19, 2005

Albany- The kickoff of football season, will put more young drivers on Georgia roads as they travel to cheer on their teams.

"We pretty much go to all the football games, unless they're too far away," said Jordan Gay.

But it can also be a deadly time of year. "Our motor vehicle crashes do increase around football season, now through the holiday season," said Sgt. Jamie Sullivan, Georgia State Patrol.

That's why the state believes restriction on teen drivers are necessary.

"With the graduated driver's license that Georgia has, you can not drive after midnight or before six a.m. There use to be an exemption coming home from sporting events and they've done away with that for safety issues," said Sullivan.

Sixteen year olds can't carry any passengers who aren't relatives for six months after they get their license. For the next six months, they're not supposed to have more than three other teens ride along. It helps to cut back on distracted driver syndrome, which teens admit can be a problem.

"I like to keep the radio down at a nice level so I can concentrate on driving," said Gay.

"It depends on who the person is, but then your going to have that certain few that break the rules and need guidelines for them," said Chris Heape.

"With a car load of young adults, loud music, fun, dare, challenge, makes a dangerous situation," said Sullivan.

Most teens we talked to say they try to be safe when they're out on the roads, especially after games but admit friends in the car can be distracting.

So far this year, the number of fatal crashes in Georgia is down. Troopers say that's largely due to more people wearing seat belts.

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