Posted 5:38 PM 3/1/2012 : Study shows young Pueblo drivers among worst in state
It's an alarming statistic in Pueblo. The city has some of the worst young drivers in the state. The Colorado Department of Transportation studied the odds of young drivers crashing and among the top ten worst zip codes in Colorado, five are in Pueblo. A health expert says a lot of teens in Pueblo are dealing with a lack of driver's education and too many distractions.
One of the most tragic wrecks in Pueblo in recent history, left three teens dead. It happened in July 2004 on West St. Pueblo police say the driver was drinking, ran a stop sign and crashed. The car split in half and of the four teenagers inside, only one survived.
"Even if you survive one of these crashes, you're going to have lots of medical problems and we want these kids to live," said Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods, Public Health Director of the Pueblo City-County Health Department.
The five dangerous zip codes in Pueblo are 81001, 81004, 81005, 81006 and 81007.
"Teenagers fall into the category of distractions while driving, and also inexperience," said Dr. Nevin-Woods. Cell phones, loud music, and speeding are all factors according to Dr. Nevin-Woods. However, specifically to Pueblo teenagers may also not have enough education before they get their driver's license.
Drivers education isn't taught in schools and some low income families can't afford private courses, which could cost up to $300 according to Dr. Nevin-Woods.
Now help is available. The Pueblo City-County Health Department got a grant from C-DOT to offer free driver's education classes for teens and the early results look promising. "We haven't seen the formal statistics, but we understand there has been a slight decrease in injuries and deaths in Pueblo," said Dr. Nevin-Woods.
Wrecks involving teens costs taxpayers in Colorado millions each year, but there's also a heavy emotional toll. Mike Marino lost one classmate in a car wreck and several other friends in deadly accidents. Now Marino speaks about the pain of losing young friends.
"Teen deaths do affect everybody as a whole. They're young lives, just when they're starting to develop and grow and once you take that light out of someone's life, it's just sad," said Marino.
2012 TEACHING YOUR TEEN TO DRIVE CLASSES
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
All classes are at Pueblo City County Health Department.
From 5:30- 6:30p.m., in the 3rd floor conference room.
To schedule a space call: 583-4369
2012 TEENS DRIVING SAFER CLASSES
Saturday, March 24th
Friday, April 20th
Saturday, May 19th
Friday, June 22nd
Friday, August 17th
Saturday, September 22nd
All classes are at Pueblo Community College in the Automotive Department.
From 9a.m. to 1:30p.m. Reserve your teens spot by calling: 583-4369