Man behind 'Joshua's Law' says more can be done to stop deaths - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Man behind 'Joshua's Law' says more can be done to stop teen driving deaths

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CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -

While Georgia has bucked a national trend of increased teen fatalities in car crashes, a father who lost his son in a single-car crash a decade ago says more must be done.

The number of teen driving deaths is slightly down in the state. In the first six months of 2012, there were five deaths involving 16- and 17-year-old drivers. That's down from six deaths in the first half of 2011.

The Governor Highway Safety Association released the preliminary data on Tuesday.

Alan Brown's 17-year-old son Joshua died nearly 10 years in a crash.

"He hydroplaned in the rain at 40 miles an hour, went down an embankment and hit a tree," said Alan Brown.

Brown wrote a bill that eventually became "Joshua's Law." It raised traffic fines by 5 percent to pay for driving simulators designed to teach kids what to do in the worst circumstances.

"I've had kids call me and email me and tell me, 'I was in a crash and I turned over and what was going through my mind was situations I learned on the simulator,'" Alan Brown said.

He says the money that funds the high tech teaching tools are not getting to all of Georgia's high schools.

"The law has generated approximately $92 million, of which, only eight has gone to the schools," Alan Brown said.

Brown is on a mission to change that.

Cartersville High School Principal Steve Butler says Cartersville hasn't had a fatal car wreck involving teens since the law went into effect and thinks the simulator program would be successful in all Georgia high schools.

"I think it's something that students would have a demand for. And I think it is something that would benefit wherever there are teenagers," Butler said.

Officials with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety say the state legislature would have to pass a constitutional amendment to direct funds from Joshua's Law to Georgia high schools. Brown asks parents to call and email their state senators and representatives to make that happen.

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