New WRAL-TV Documentary Examines NC’s High Rate of Teen Auto Fatalities

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Focal Point: “In a Flash”
New WRAL-TV Documentary Examines NC’s High Rate of Teen Auto Fatalities

Airs Wednesday Feb 25, 2009, 7pm

 “Basically he was an excellent child and he made one fatal mistake by getting in that car that night.” 
— Steven George on his 17-year-old son who was killed in an automobile crash

Focal Point It seems like it’s in the news almost every day, another teenager dies in an auto crash. Maybe that’s because North Carolina ranks seventh in the nation in the number of teenage drivers killed in automobile accidents and eighth in teen passengers killed. WRAL-TV’s Focal Point: In a Flash examines the causes and consequences and looks at strategies to reduce the tragic numbers.  The documentary airs Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00pm and is hosted by WRAL-TV News anchor Debra Morgan.

The North Carolina News Network recently produced a series “Driven to Distraction” about teen driving. Listen here.

More than 150 teens lost their lives in car crashes in 2007 according to the most recent numbers from the state Department of Transportation. Johnston County led the state.  That’s especially alarming because it is a less populous, more rural county. 

No matter where they occur, the crashes leave behind grieving families, friends, schools and communities. Experts blame speed, alcohol, distractions, like cell phones and inexperience behind the wheel, for the high number of crashes. Many say the answer is more driver education.  The state requires students to get 36 hours of training, but only six hours actually behind the wheel. 

Focal Point: In a Flash examines the high number of teen auto fatalities in our state and whether driver’s education programs need to be improved. It includes interviews with the parents and friends of some of the teenagers killed in car crashes as well as experts in driver’s education and training. 

Focal Point
In a Flash is the latest episode in the WRAL News series called Focal Point.  These in-depth news documentaries focus on a single topic, bringing depth and clarity to complicated issues facing North Carolina.  From North Carolina’s economy and environment, to health care and race relations – Focal Point takes viewers inside the lives of the people most affected.  Focal Point tackles the tough questions with leaders and policymakers who have the power to effect change.  WRAL News anchors, including David Crabtree, Bill Leslie, Gerald Owens and Debra Morgan.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Debbie Strange for this capcom story.

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