Reporter/Lynchburg Bureau Chief
5:17 PM EST, February 22, 2013
Many parents will tell you, a car accident involving their child is their worst nightmare.
Beth Worth has a 17-year-old daughter and worries every time she gets behind the wheel.
"We have very open and frank discussions about the perils of alcohol and what she should be aware of," said Worth, who works as a public information specialist for Campbell County.
Many parents aren't having that discussion with their children and that could be why so many accidents involve teenagers who drink and drive.
"Campbell County is having a huge number of motor vehicle crashes with underage drinkers and drivers," said Tammy Blair, a prevention coordinator for Campbell County.
A high percentage of traffic accidents in the county involve people between the ages of 18 and 24. That group is being targeted by a new effort.
"We need to reduce these crashes by 10 percent," said Blair.
Campbell County is getting grant money from the state and federal government. They're using the funding to launch what they call a "media and law enforcement blitz."
"The goal is to get parents and the whole community to have an open dialog with their teens and young adults, to prevent future motor vehicle crashes," said Worth.
Over the next few months, they'll be putting up billboards along the highway and launching commercials on TV, all with a message about safe driving.
They'll work with sheriff's deputies, to increase the number of safety and sobriety checkpoints and they'll be working with Alcoholic Beverage Control, to crack down on stores that sell alcohol to minors.
"Do not take a chance," said Blair. "You never know when you will get caught."
In order for this campaign to work, organizers say they need support from parents. They want adults to set a good example and have an honest discussion with their children about alcohol and safe driving habits.
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