National Teen Driver Safety Awareness Week: Parents and Guardians Play a Critical Role

As the awareness week winds down, a Massillon Police Sgt. is stressing the important role parents and guardians play in keeping their young drivers safe behind the wheel.

What asked what that role is, Sgt. Brian Muntean encouraged parents and guardians to spend time in the car with the child under various driving conditions. “If you don’t know what to teach them, ask a local law enforcement officer to speak to them or their group.”

He told that the role is very important, “because we can safely assume nobody cares about their safety more than the parent.”

Areas he suggested you discuss with your teen driver include speed, Assured Clear Distance Ahead (ACDA), distracted driving, OVI and seatbelt use.

According to, there are a few parenting methods being used to increase teen driving safety:

  1. House rules for driving. When, to where and consequences for breaking the rules.
  2. Parents keeping the keys and teens being forced to ask for permission.

When asked if he feels this is a good approach, Sgt. Muntean answered, “No-brainer. The last time I checked, parents are in charge of their kids.”

He stressed that experience is everything and encouraged parents and guardians to spend time with young drivers on the road adding, “it’ll be time-well-spent.”

“As a new driver, you have no skills at all. Playing Grand Theft Auto on your PlayStation doesn’t count as experience. Now put your phone down and drive.”

Michaela Madison Reporting

(Photo courtesy of

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