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Ohio should follow Michigan’s lead on program

Michigan sheriffs have a program in place to tell parents, by text or email, when their children under age 21 are pulled over in a traffic stop by the police. It’s a novel idea that is generating a lot of interest and should be something Ohio police should consider.

The program, designed to reduce the number of young drivers involved in crashes, is called STOPPED, or Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers.

To participate, parents would register using a simple online form, listing whatever vehicles their child under 21 may be driving. They are then sent stickers to be placed on each vehicle’s back window that has an identification number. Then, when a sheriff’s deputy pulls over the vehicle driven by someone under 21, the deputy sends a text or email to the parents explaining the nature of the stop, the mannerism of the driver and passengers, and whether a citation was issued.

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Since it’s voluntary and provides notification in real time, the program is a good one. It is privately funded by insurer State Farm, and had no political debate in the Michigan Legislature. Sounds like an idea that Ohio law enforcement should implement.

— The Toledo Blade