Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people 15 to 20 years of age, causing roughly one-third of all fatalities in this age group. Last year, over 6,000 young people ages 15-20 died in motor vehicle crashes. Even though this age group makes up only 7% of the driving population, they are involved in 14% of all traffic fatalities.
STTOP is an intervention program developed by the Lost Hills/Malibu Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, to educate young drivers and their parents. STTOP encourages citizens to call 877-310-STOP and report dangerous drivers (teen or otherwise), or fill out this form on the web http://www.sttop.net/report_a_driver.htm — either way, your information is kept confidential.
After locating the driver, a Sheriff’s Deputy conducts an intervention with the driver (and his/her parents if a teenager). STTOP follows on all reports regardless of the drivers age. The programs’ intent is not to prosecute, but to correct poor driving habits so collisions and citations can be avoided.
Thursday, April 24th, 7-9pm at the Westlake Village City Hall, the Sheriff will be presenting a program “Is your teen road ready?”
It is reckless behavior and other bad driving practices that STTOP hopes to correct. The program is designed to intervene when a young driver displays poor judgment or dangerous driving behavior. Aside from following up on collision reports and citations issued, STTOP encourages citizens to call in and report dangerous teen drivers. Many times, patrol officers are not present to see the dangerous driving. The inability to catch the offender in the act ties the hands of law enforcement, which cannot act on a Vehicle Code infraction they do not witness. Often the youthful driver screeches his tires, races another car or does other dangerous maneuvers, and then vanishes before the patrol units can arrive.
How does it work?
STTOP will take the information reported about the driver, his vehicle and the dangerous driving behavior and attempt to identify the offender. After locating them, a Sheriff’s Deputy conducts an intervention with the driver and his/her parents. The programs’ intent is not to prosecute, but to correct and educate the offender and his parents. Getting parents involved is the key. Young drivers do their best to impress parents with their safe driving. The parents can’t always be there and peer pressure, or simply wanting to impress friends, often leads to deadly consequences. The goal of STTOP is to make teens better, safer drivers, which in turn benefits all drivers on the roadways.
What cities are currently participating?
There are many cities that already participate in STTOP, with more in the planning stages to join.
STTOP was created over six years ago by 5 founding cities: Malibu, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village and Calabasas, who committed both money and resources to get STTOP started. The program has grown very fast.
The following Los Angeles and Ventura County cities currently participate in STTOP: Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Fillmore, Hidden Hills, Malibu, Moorpark, Oak Park, Ojai, Santa Clarita, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Westlake Village.
Report a driver
If you have witnessed an unsafe driver, you can report them by filling out the form at: http://www.sttop.net/report_a_driver.htm or calling 877-310-STOP or by contacting Deputy Michael Woodard directly at (818) 880-5420 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The information you provide will be completely confidential.
Malibu/Los Hills Sheriff’s Station and the City of Westlake Village present “Is your teen road ready?” Thursday, April 24th, 2008, 7-9pm at Westlake Village City Hall.
Guest Speakers from the Malibu/Los Hills Sheriff’s Station, California Department of Motor Vehicles, MADD and an insurance specialist.
A free traffic-safety seminar for teens preparing to get their license. This event will help teens and parents understand the new laws, license requirements and restrictions that apply to young drivers.
Who pays for STTOP?
STTOP is funded by the cities who participate in the program, as well as corporate donors. Local small business and private donors have also contributed significantly to support the program.
For more information on STTOP, see http://www.sttop.net/