August means the back-to-school season, which also means an influx of young drivers hit the road, many under the age of 18. That makes it also a good time to remind people to drive safely and avoid excessive speeding, which is what the Orange County Sheriff's Department in Florida did on its Twitter account recently.
As part of that message, the Orange County Sheriff's Office posted a video of a 16-year-old driver pulled over in January for going 132 miles per hour in his dad's Toyota Supra. In Orange County, a speeding ticket for 30 mph over the speed limit includes a mandatory court appearance and a fine of $354 US dollars (approx. £278). At 50 mph over the speed limit, that fine increases to $1,100 (£863) and the driver can be arrested with their vehicle impounded for reckless driving.
In the video, Corporal Greg Rittger explains why he pulled the driver over and has him call his parents. When they arrive, he shows them the speed on the radar gun and tells them how he stopped another 16-year-old 10 years ago, who was driving a new Ford Mustang. He also warned that driver and his parents that the Mustang was too much car for him but three weeks later, he wrapped it around a tree and died. Corporal Rittger then explains the fine and mandatory court appearance to the parents and lets them go.
According to Seargent Gerald McDaniels of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, excessive speeding is a frequent occurrence with young drivers. "Catch them all the time," he says, "This this year alone, multiple teenagers well over 100 miles an hour on different highways."
McDaniels also stresses the importance of parents talking to their teen drivers and setting a good example. He also wants them to monitor their driving habits. "As parents as part of our job, we need to be paying attention to how fast our kids are going with GPS and all the different things that we have available with technology. There’s no excuse not to know how your kids are driving," he said.