‘Drive Smart Southcoast’ Hopes to Curb Teen Distracted Driving
NEW BEDFORD — Teen drivers throughout the SouthCoast can get a bit of a break if they're pulled over for using their cell phone to text or browsing social media while driving.
Multiple police departments are taking part in the Drive Smart Southcoast campaign, which affords teen drivers the opportunity to avoid legal repercussions while still learning a valuable lesson.
New Bedford Police officer J.R. Rebeiro says during the campaign he'll give a pulled-over teen the option of temporarily losing their license and paying a fine or spending some time in Youth Court.
"They'll go to Youth Court and will get judged by their peers," says Officer Rebeiro. "They're already agreeing that they're guilty, but they can do some community service. They're going to have to go to a classroom presentation by one of the officers."
Instead of first-time offenders paying a $100 fine and losing their license for 60 days, they can opt to go through Youth Court, perform community service, attend a class on distracted driving, and pledge to tell their peers about the dangers and penalties of distracted driving.
The New Bedford, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, and Acushnet police departments are taking part in the Drive Smart SouthCoast campaign, which kicked off earlier this week and continues through the end of June.