STOPPED sticker allows parents to know when teen drivers are pulled over.

April 12, 2018

From left: Superintendent Jeff Mount, Mason County Central; Chief Mark Barnett, Ludington Police Dept.; Erin Doan and Brad Chapman, State Farm agents; Superintendent Jason Kennedy, Ludington Area School District; Superintendent Paul Shoup, Mason County Eastern; Sheriff Kim Cole.

STOPPED sticker allows parents to know when teen drivers are pulled over.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — State Farm Insurance made a donation today to a program that helps parents of teenaged drivers stay informed if their child has been pulled over by law enforcement. The Michigan Sheriff’s Association’s Sheriff’s Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers (S.T.O.P.P.E.D.) is a voluntary program for parents who would like to be notified when their child is involved in a traffic stop by a police officer.

The program has been around for several years but notification was completed by regular mail. A $25,896 donation from State Farm Insurance is allowing the state organization to automate the process. The program is being tested out in Mason and Livingston counties.

Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said if the program is success in those two counties, it will be expanded through the remainder of the state. Cole said when a police officer pulls over a vehicle with a STOPPED sticker, the officer can place the corresponding number into an Internet based program and hit the send button. The officer then tells the driver that his/her parent will receive a text message or e-mail regarding the traffic stop. But, the officer informs the young driver that he/she has 48 hours to discuss the event with his/her parents before the parent receives the message.  “This system allows for not only notification but accountability between young driver student and parent,” Cole said.

During a local press conference announcing the enhanced system, Sheriff Cole included local law enforcement leaders, school superintendents, and the two Mason County State Farm agents.

“I want to emphasize that officers are not allowed to pull a driver over just because the sticker is on the car,” Cole said. “The sticker’s purpose is to serve as a way of teenage drivers to stay accountable.”

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