To the Editor:
Parents are the key to teen driver safety. It just makes sense — the more involved parents are in their teens’ driving life, the safer teens will be on the road.
In recognition of Teen Driver Safety Week, which started Oct. 14, AAA urges parents to:
• Be role models. Our children pick up more from how we act than we think. Kids typically mimic the driving behaviors of their parents.
• Set rules. Oklahoma has a pretty good teen Graduated Driver Licensing law. It sets limits on where novice drivers can drive, at what hours and with how many passengers. But conscientious parents will take these rules one step further by imposing guidelines on things like cell phone use while driving, texting, use of seat belts, highway driving and alcohol.
• Stay involved. Communication between teen and parent is vital. Ask your children where they’re going, who they’ll be with, what roads they’ll be on and when they’ll be back. Then when they return, talk about their driving experiences — how was it? Any problems? Did you encounter any unusual driving scenarios? You know what to ask and you know you are the answer.
With high school driver’s education now almost a thing of the past, who is teaching your teen how to drive? Are they gathering these life skills from TV car commercials? Video games? Their friends?
There’s a reason teen drivers pay the most of any age group for car insurance — they have the most wrecks. Car crashes are still the leading cause of death for teens.
Parents can step up and do more to reduce their teen’s risk on the road. A good free resource is TeenDriving.AAA.com. It has a downloadable parent-teen driving agreement, sample driving test questions, specifics on Oklahoma’s GDL law and useful advice for teens and parents.
CHUCK MAI is vice president of public affairs of AAA Oklahoma.
To the Editor:
County budget issue drives away road improvements
I am interested in working with other local officials to present a town hall meeting about the earthquakes that have been torturing area residents during the past few weeks. The forum would allow local residents to ask questions of the energy sector and state geological professionals. Would you have an interest in attending an event like this? If so, please let me know. If there is enough interest, I plan to help coordinate the effort.
A bailout for Ukrainians, by Ukrainians?
Like the reigns of many corrupt leaders, that of Viktor Yanukovich ended in farce. But there’s nothing farcical about Ukraine’s situation.
Russian troops have taken over its Crimean region, and President Vladimir Putin last week said that Russia “reserves the right to use all means at our disposal to protect” Russian-speakers in Ukraine.
Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court, don’t tread on small investors
For more than a quarter of a century, investors have been able to bring class-action lawsuits against companies that have fraudulently inflated their stock prices without having to prove that each buyer of the stock had been individually duped. Now, industrial giant Halliburton Co. is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to make such lawsuits significantly harder, if not impossible, to bring. That would be a fantastic result for publicly traded companies, but a terrible one for the average investor.
HEY HINK: Obama loses vote in Democrat-controlled Senate
This week, the Senate dealt President Obama a humiliating defeat. His nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division was derailed by a 47-to-52 talley with eight Democrats among the “no” votes. This outcome is tragic for all concerned; the president, the nominee, the Senate and the American people.
CONSIDER THIS: Why does American Indian Cultural Center matter?
We can fulfill an obligation to our Native American brethren, cultures, histories and ourselves by completing the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.
Women raise their voices for peace, security
International Women’s Day has been observed on March 8 since the early 1900s. From factory workers to abolitionists, women began to speak out against women’s oppression and inequality. They organized to demand better working conditions, equal pay and the right to vote. As 50 percent of the world’s population, our foremothers realized they had a critical role to play in the political, social and economic life of their society and it was time for their voices to be heard.
Education Savings Accounts are worth the fight
Throughout the course of a legislative session, many bills are proposed, discussed and voted on. Lots of times, good bills pass and become law. Sometimes, good bills focused on important topics do not make it to law. For one reason or another, it just didn’t receive the votes. That can even happen to measures that have widespread support.
Shotgun homes stand in Oklahoma
In 1791 a slave rebellion broke out in what was then the French colony of Haiti and over the next several years French citizens fleeing the conflict made their way to New Orleans. Those refugees brought with them traditions that were to have an impact on their new homeland.
They included the custom of constructing small homes that were one room wide and featured several other rooms behind the front one with doors at both the front and back of the structure that in time became know as “shotgun houses.” The term shotgun is said to reflect the fact that a bullet could be fired through the front door and go through every room in the house.
The Kansas City Star: Ukrainian victory turns toward tragedy
The stakes are changing rapidly in Ukraine. The people have spoken in Kiev. But now Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken more loudly.
By Sunday, Kiev’s new interim leaders charged that Russians had invaded. Putin asserted that his forces were merely protecting Russian interests in Crimea. He appeared undeterred by his 90-minute talk with President Barack Obama on Saturday, leading experts to question if Ukraine’s regime could stave off a military conflict and possible partition.
President’s budget a disappointment
Last month, President Obama filed his annual budget blueprint for fiscal year 2015. While the contents of his proposal have been a major topic of discussion in the news since then, its official release on March 4 will determine the next steps for lawmakers, who must work together to ultimately find a common agreement.
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