Parental notification program for youths in traffic stops gets technological enhancement

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Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers (STOPPED) — a voluntary program for parents who would like to be notified when their child is involved in a traffic stop by a Sheriff’s Deputy — has come to Livingston County.

STOPPED Livingston and Mason counties have been selected to pilot the State Farm-funded program, which has been enhanced to include digital notifications. While the program has been around for several years, notification was completed by regular mail.

According to Blaine Koops, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association, “the enhanced system will fully automate the process.”

“In the event a deputy makes a traffic stop with a young driver, the deputy locates the STOPPED sticker, puts the corresponding number into an internet based program and hits the send button. The deputy then tells the driver that their parent will receive either a text message or e-mail regarding the traffic stop,” Koops said. “But the deputy informs the young driver that they have 48 hours to discuss the event with their parents before the parent receives the message. This system allows for not only notification but accountability between young driver student and parent “

“This is just the initial test run,” Koops said. “Given the outcome, this could have wide-ranging positive impact on how we relate to our young drivers and their parents”

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.