S.T.O.P.P.E.D. reboot designed to notify parents immediately if young driver is involved in a traffic stop

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SAGINAW, Michigan (WJRT) - (05/28/2019) - According to the Secretary of State's office 16 and 17-year old drivers have the highest crash rate of any age group.

But now, parents have a new way to find out immediately if their child gets pulled over.

The S.T.O.P.P.E.D. program, which stands for, "Sheriffs' Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers" has been around for a decade. But it was paper based, and never really took off.

Now the Michigan Sheriffs' Association has partnered with State Farm who spent $20,000 to automate the volunteer program, in hopes of getting more parents to sign up to participate.

"Parents should always know what's going on with their kids--especially if they're underage," said Bobbi Winningham, a mother of three.

In just a few short years, her youngest child Camron will be behind the wheel.

"I think we're going to have a good teacher," she said,"her Dad's pretty good [at] driving, so I think we're not going to have to much to worry about, at least I hope not."

Beginning next month, Sheriff deputies in Saginaw County will be using new technology created by State Farm to enroll parents in the volunteer program.

The program is aimed at the parents of 16 to 21-year old drivers.

After enrolling online, parents receive a sticker to attach to the car their child is driving.

If the young driver is pulled over by a sheriff deputy, they'll be notified immediately via text or email.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel explains the role this will allow parents to play when it comes to looking out for the young drivers in their household:

"If you're going to drive my car, with my insurance on it," Federspiel said, "I want you to be safe, and I want to make sure that where ever you're going, if you do get in trouble, or you get stopped, I want to know about it."

The Sheriff said he learned about the reboot of the S.T.O.P.P.E.D. program while attending a district Sheriffs' Association meeting hosted by the Livingston County Sheriff who is piloting the program, along with Mason County on the west side of the state.

Winngham thinks the S.T.O.P.P.E.D program will probably take off this time around:

"As long as they can get all the information they have on it," she said,"I mean if it's going to be beneficial why wouldn't they?"

The Bay County Sheriff Department plans to participate in the updated program within three months.

Sheriff Robert Pickell says Genesee County sheriff deputies will also participate at some point in the future.

For more information on how to enroll as a parent in the revamped program, just click on the link to the right of this story.

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