RookieDriver.Net in the Chicago Tribune!

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

TRAINING WHEELS: Want fellow motorists to give you a break when teaching your teen the finer points of driving?

So did Corinne Fortenbacher, a Spring Lake, Mich., mom concerned with her son’s safety while teaching him to drive. She has come up with an item that she insists will help — a magnet.

When a parent takes a teen out to practice driving, the magnet attaches to the trunk or hatch lid and reads “Rookie Driver” to alert others that a novice is behind the wheel and to please exhibit some caution and patience to make the experience safer for everyone.

After obtaining a license, parents can attach a more permanent “Rookie Driver” sticker to the car, though after advertising rookie status when practicing with the parents, you have to suspect most kids wouldn’t tolerate the sticker very long after the license is in hand.

The magnets are two for $7.95, the stickers two for $6.95. Details are at

Read Jim Mateja on Sunday in Transportation and Tuesday and Thursday in Business. Hear him on WBBM-AM 780 at 6:22 p.m. Wednesdays and 11:22 a.m. Sundays.

To read the entire column follow this link:,0,4838261.story?coll=chi-business-hed 

Rookie Driver – Keeping New Drivers Safe

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

One of the best ways to help keep new teen drivers safe is by giving them a way to be identified as new drivers by others on the road. It has been a long standing tradition in Europe to identify cars being driven by “Learners” with a very easy to identify “L” sticker. By alerting other drivers on the road of the new drivers, experienced drivers can give them more room, be more cautious and a little more understanding when minor courtesy mistakes are made.Rookie Driver is bringing the awareness to the US, using a fun, teen accepted, car magnet that says Rookie Driver. Afterall, being “Rookie of the Year” is cool in sports, and to teens Rookie Driver is more acceptable than Student Driver or other terms.

The Rookie Driver web site also includes an entire page of teen driving safety links. Definitely worth a look if you have a rookie driver or one who is soon to be.

Teen Had Too Many Passengers In Deadly Car Crash

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.
May 30, 2007
Posted By: Jenell Walton

New Ohio law states a 16-year-old driver can have just one passenger that is not a family member inside their vehicle.  

Investigators have released the names of the teenage survivors involved in yesterday’s accident in Colerain Township that took the lives of two teenage girls.

The driver was just 16-years-old.

Authorities say he could face charges for simply having more than one passenger in the car.

The driver, Chad Metzcar, and two of his passengers, Dustin and Derek Linderman, are listed in fair condition at Children’s Hospital.

A new Ohio law says there should be just one passenger inside a car driven by a 16-year-old driver.

There were four passengers inside the vehicle.

A new Ohio teen driving law went into effect two months ago to try to prevent just what happened along Buell Road yesterday in Colerain Township – five teenagers in a car, allegedly speeding, losing control – leading to the deaths of two passengers.

“You’re dealing with teenagers, inexperienced drivers. By limiting the occupants in the car, you’re going to have the greater chance that that driver is paying more attention to what they should be paying attention too which is driving,” says Lieutenant Anthony Lauer, of the Ohio State Patrol.

14-year-old friends, Lauren Dietz and Miranda Phelps died at the scene.

Two other passengers, 16-year-old Dustin Linderman and 14-year-old Derek Linderman survived along with the driver, 16-year-old Chad Metzcar.

Ohio law states a 16-year-old driver can only have one passenger that’s not a family member inside their car.

The president of the Northwest Local School District Board, Bruce Gehring, says the board will look into ways to try to prevent this from happening again.

“You want to sit down as a board, and as an individual, and sit down and see,” Gehring said. “Second guess, is there anything we could have done? Anything we should have done? Anything we can do to prevent this from happening in the future?”

Gehring says he’s not sure if anything can be done.

“The fact of the matter is, they were being kids,” said Gehring. “Let’s face it. The real question I think here is, ‘Yes, we have a great Ohio Law. How do we enforce it?'”

Lieutenant Lauer admits enforcing the law is a challenge.

“What you might believe is a 17-year-old, might be a 21-year-old,” said Lt. Lauer. “So that’s where it’s tough for law enforcement to be able to judge.”

The driver, Chad Metzcar, does not face any charges at this time.

The Ohio State Patrol is asking parents to sit down with their teen drivers and explain the new law and use this accident as an example of why it’s important to follow it.

8 On Your Side: Teen Driving Distractions

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see. 
Thursday May 31, 2007 8:20am   Reporter: Mark Bradshaw 

Tulsa – About ten percent of all car accidents in Oklahoma involve a teenage driver. But, can you chalk it up to inexperience? 8 On Your Side Mark Bradshaw gives you a front seat to what really happens with a teen behind the wheel.This story hit me, quite literally, a few months ago. In a span of just a few weeks, my 16-year-old son hit another car, then one of his friends did. And, then my car was hit from behind. The 16-year-old driver told me he took his eyes off the road because his cat was scratching him. So, what goes on inside that car load of teenagers? You really want to know? 8 On Your Side put a tiny camera in one to find out.For teenagers, the automobile has always been more than just a mode of transportation. It’s their escape and social life on wheels, distractions and all. “I’ve seen people putting on make-up, a lot of times I drive with one of my friends and she’ll be sitting there text messaging.”Those distractions are a big reason why traffic accidents are still the number one killer of teenagers in the U-S. So what goes on inside that car that leads to so many accidents, including one caused by my own son? And how can teenagers and their parents learn from it?Like most teenagers, 16-year-old Corwin Meyer thinks he’s a good driver, and his parents hope he is. So, 8 On Your Side put it to the test. We set up a camera in Corwin’s Suburban for several days, recorded his driving habits and then hit the rewind button to watch. We saw plenty of typical distractions. The tops ones? Talking on the phone and even dialing while driving.

Here Corwin takes his eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to change a CD. We saw one handed and no handed driving more than once. And, we counted three teenage passengers in his Suburban. Notice at least two of the passengers are not wearing their seat belts. Long time driving instructor Jerry Walters says because teenage drivers are so inexperienced, a simple distraction is dangerous.

“When their hands are off the wheel and their eyes are off the road, then in a split second you’re traveling 75 feet a second at 50 miles an hour.”

And that could be disaster. Distracted teens behind the wheel have become a big enough problem that one insurance company. American Country is now making dashboard cameras available for many of its clients who have young drivers. Parents can watch together and make suggestions to become a better driver.

“The seat belt in the back seat not being on really bothers me a lot because he knows that’s what we stress,” says Corwin’s mom, Erin Mahoney.

“Vehicles are extremely dangerous and he is of statistic age from 16 to 17, a male driver, and I don’t want him to end up a statistic, nor anyone else who’s viewing this,” adds Corwin’s dad Charlie Meyer.

Now, Corwin’s parents only hope what he learned will stick with him long after the camera is off.

There are other ways you can monitor and improve teenager’s driving besides putting a camera in their car. You can also put a tracking device on the vehicle or give them a short course in driving school. Better yet, set a good driving example yourself. Kids learn by watching you.

Ford’s Driver Education Videos

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

 Ford’s Driver Education Videos May 31, 2007 

Ford created this Driving Skills For Life program in the US to help reduce teen driver accidents. The program teaches then how to handle most situations where the car is in a dangerous position – during accidental skids, accident avoidance, and etc. Now Ford has provided 9 different driving tip videos on their website, and I’ve decided to put them up hosting on my own server for faster loading. Do watch all of them if you have time, it doesn’t harm trying to learn something new. I hope you find them useful.

State police to notify parents about teens

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.


State police to notify parents about teens
BY BOB KALINOWSKI , Times-Shamrock Writer

Your 16-year-old son or daughter gets a speeding ticket by a state trooper.

You own the car. You pay the insurance.

In the past, you may have never known about the infraction.

That’s changing.

State police at Wyoming will begin notifying parents of traffic violations committed by their 16- and 17-year-old children under a new program, “Project Note Home.”

“Our captain, Donald Peters, was concerned about young teen drivers being held accountable for their actions while behind the wheel,” said Trooper Martin Connors, spokesman for state police at Wyoming. “Teen drivers need to realize that it would be a lot better to have their driving privileges suspended by their parents than by the state.”

The newest enforcement program will take effect on roadways in the coverage area of Troop P, Wyoming, which has local barracks in Wyoming, Shickshinny and Tunkhannock. Barracks in Towanda, Bradford County and Laporte, Sullivan County, will also be involved. Station commanders will send letters to parents, describing the infraction of their teen son or daughter.

“A lot of times, the car and insurance is in the parents’ name. But there is no way of parents knowing their teen’s driving habits,” Connors said. “The first time a parent might have known their child received a citation is when they received a notice their insurance is going up and they don’t know why. This is another step we have to inform parents.”

Police say they are implementing the program because teen drivers are the most at risk to be involved in crashes, many times fatal ones.

“If it saves one life, it has accomplished its goal,” Connors said.

PennDOT safety officer Mike Cotter said that although his agency isn’t directly involved in the new program, he thinks it’s a good idea.

“I think it’s a great initiative. All you have to do is look at the fatalities in that age group. For 15 to 20 year olds, crashes are the highest killer,” Cotter said. “Young drivers exhibit all the risk behaviors that contribute to crashes because of lack of experience. If someone’s out speeding or breaking traffic rules, it alerts the parents.”

Seat belt infractions will be among the violations about which parents will be alerted. Cotter thinks this is vital because a large majority of teenagers who die on Pennsylvania roadways do not wear seat belts.

My daughter has had her license for a few months now.

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

My daughter has had her license for a few months now. I’m feeling better about her driving, mainly because she hasn’t hit anything yet, but she still is unsure of a few things when we ride with her. I can’t imagine how she gets through some of the intersections without us in the car. How long does it take for these kids to become competent drivers?

I just got my license

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

I just got my license – it is so much fun to drive without my parents, talk about freedom!
 My parents are threatening to put one of those trackers on my car so they can see where I’ve been and how fast I’m going. I’m so mad at them.
 I would be mad too. Did they catch you doing something that made them want the tracker or are they just paranoid?

Yellow Sign

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

I know, I have the same thing – what’s up with the yellow sign on top of the car? I wish they would pick me up at my house instead of at school!

Started Drivers Training

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

I just started drivers training and they pick me up at school with the drivers training car – how embarrassing is that?