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Traffic Talk: Thunder Girls, Rumble to demonstrate driving safety for teens at free class in Oklahoma City

Don Gammill: Participants in “Hot Cars & Hot Topics — a Conversation for Teen Drivers,” which is sponsored by AAA Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Thunder, can learn, relearn skills, hear messages about traffic safety and maybe win prizes.
By DON GAMMILL Published: October 1, 2012

With two family members nearing the dates they become licensed drivers and a third who will be revving up for his turn not long afterward, I'm always encouraging safe driving and looking for information to help them.

You can bet this is one I recommend.

Here's an invitation to all young drivers, and those of you who soon will be in that category, to learn or relearn some skills that could save your life. It's an opportunity to have some fun as well.

“Hot Cars & Hot Topics — a Conversation for Teen Drivers,” sponsored by AAA Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City Thunder, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Freede Wellness Center at Oklahoma City University. It's open to the public and no preregistration is required. It's also free.

AAA officials say the event is for all teens, parents, friends “and anyone interested in teen traffic safety.” It is noncommercial and “designed to raise awareness in teens (and parents and anyone else interested in traffic safety) of a variety of issues, such as distracted driving, texting-while-driving, the dangers of alcohol use by drivers and the value of seat belts.”

All of these are important to teens, whether they have a license or hope to soon have one. There will be some locally and nationally recognized experts in attendance to present current, valuable information or tell their stories.

Speakers scheduled to participate include Bruce Shults, senior program manager of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Bill Van Tassel, head of Driver Training Programs for the AAA National organization; Lt. George Brown, of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; and Cheryl Nichols, of Tahlequah, the mother of a teen who was killed in a texting-while-driving crash.

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