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Statewide campaign emphasizes traffic safety as prom season nears


All this week, state and local law enforcement will increase patrols near high schools as part of a statewide campaign to limit the impacts of impaired and distracted driving as prom and graduation season approach. Representatives of the governor's traffic safety committee kicked off the initiative Monday.

Student Hannah Newland said she was involved in a car crash while driving earlier this year.

"I know as a novice driver, it's really easy to get into the habit of driving carelessly and I think it's really, really important to realize note that an accident can happen to anyone," Newland said. "It can turn into a tragedy; luckily it didn't in my case."

Mother Susan Gaiter talked to students about the tragic crash that claimed the life of her teen son 17 years ago. 

"He, unfortunately, made the wrong choice," Gaiter said. "He was driving while drunk and he was binge drinking prior to that. All those things that teenagers think they've have all planned out with (designated driving), etcetera, did not pan out that way."

As part of the campaign, police will be targeting drivers who are violating specific rules of the road each day this week, including speeding in school zones, distracted driving, underage drinking and impaired driving and failure to use seatbelts and child restraints.

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