Milton launches Teen Victim Impact Program

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MILTON, Ga. – In late June, Milton Municipal Court launched the Teen Victim Impact Program, an educational initiative to reduce teen traffic violations and deaths in car crashes.

Drivers under 21 accused of traffic violations in Milton may now attend the two-hour program in lieu of the six-hour defensive driving course traditionally offered to reduce driver’s license point deductions.

The program is designed to give judges an educational initiative in lieu of or in addition to fines and probation. The objective, say its creators, is to get rid of the “it won’t happen to me” mindset and reinforce the need to wear seat belts.

The program contains real stories of teens killed in crashes, including one story of a teen survivor. There will also be seat belt and texting videos.

Though the class is shorter, it is a much more harrowing session, said Clerk of Court Brooke Lappin. At the first session, Police Chief Deborah Harrell was brought to tears by the stories.

“This has more real-life applications, and we felt it would be much more successful,” said Lappin.

Milton Chief Judge Brian Hansford brought the program to Milton after learning of its success in reducing teen fatalities in other jurisdictions. Plans are underway to implement the same program in the Roswell Municipal Court, where he also presides.

“I believe the court’s mission with young drivers is not necessarily to punish, but to preserve lives. I hope this program catches on in all of North Fulton and that more young lives can be saved,” he said. “Something this real can help prevent future fatalities.”

Any Milton resident or their child may also take the course at no cost any time it is offered.

Classes are held monthly. For more information, visit www.tvip.org.

—Jonathan Copsey

MH-7-2