A parental notification system which was developed for the state by MSA, the goal of STOPPED is to reduce the number of young drivers who are involved in motor vehicle crashes each year.
Parents voluntarily register their vehicles with MSA online. They may register any vehicle - car, boat, ORV, moped, motorcycle - that will be operated by a driver under 21.
An identification decal is issued by MSA and affixed to the front windshield of the vehicle where it serves as a constant reminder to the teen to always drive as if his/her parents are in the car.
If, for any reason, the vehicle is pulled over by a participating law enforcement agency while a driver under 21 is driving a notification is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle. Notification includes the time and location of the stop, the driver’s name and number of passengers in the vehicle, the reason for the stop and whether or not any citations were issued.
A driver’s license is one of the most visible symbols of a child’s progression into adulthood. However, bad habits are difficult to change once set.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about STOPPED
Q: Won’t police target my teen driver?
A: NO – the size and location of the sticker make it impossible for law enforcement, in the course of normal traffic enforcement, to see the sticker before your teen is pulled over.
Q: I trust my teen driver; won’t enrolling in the program send him/her the wrong message?
A: NO – It’s about safety, not about control. The intent of the program is to engage you and your teen in the decision making process together. Listen to where and when your teen wants to drive – of course they may not be able to drive everywhere without restrictions immediately after obtaining their license. Set reasonable restrictions – and goals – together.
Q: Does enrolling in STOPPED mean my teen won’t receive a ticket?
A: Not necessarily – the STOPPED program simply gives law enforcement a way to help parents enforce their parental rules of the road. Officers may still issue a citation if they feel one is warranted. On the other hand, in some instances officers may decide that a warning and letter home to parents will accomplish more than a citation. STOPPED is not a “get out of jail free” card – it’s a “STOP and make you think” program.
Q: What good will it do to contact a parent?
A: Parents can provide consequences which are more apt to have a greater effect on driving habits. For example: instead of - or in addition to -paying an $85 - $125 ticket, parents can further restrict driving privileges. With parent involvement the teen may lose the ability to drive with friends/passengers in the vehicle, lose their cell phone or possibly even lose the privilege of driving at all for a set period of time. The restriction can be tailored to better help break the bad habit.
Q: Why does the government keep wasting money on frivolous programs like this?
A: STOPPED is not a frivolous program, it is saving lives! Also, STOPPED isn’t funded by the government or your tax dollars. The Michigan Sheriffs’ Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Funding for STOPPED and the other valuable programs MSA offers comes from donations and grants. The majority of funding for STOPPED came from a generous grant from State Farm.
Q: Our local high school requires my teen to register with the program to park on campus. Will the school be notified if he/she is pulled over?
Q: Why are some high schools requiring registration with the STOPPED program to park on campus?
A: There are many good reasons why a school would want students who park on campus to be enrolled in STOPPED.
For students – it provides a constant visual reminder to always drive as if their parents are in the car with them.
For parents – it provides peace of mind knowing that since they were a part of the process to set family driving rules – teens will think twice before engaging in dangerous activities while driving.
For schools – having the STOPPED program provide the decals free of charge saves them quite a bit of money on parking permits AND eliminates the necessity of having an additional sticker cluttering up the windshield.
Q: How many vehicles are registered with the program?
A: Since it’s inception, there are more than 47,500 vehicles registered in the program. With 100,000+ new teen drivers each year that’s not nearly enough. That’s why MSA has partnered with State Farm – to help raise awareness of safe teen driving and how the STOPPED program can help.
Q: How many letters to parents do you send out a year?
A: In the eight years since MSA launched the STOPPED program just over 100 letters have been sent home to parents.
Q: If you send out less than a dozen letters a year how do you know STOPPED is working?
A: We do not consider notification of parents to mean the program is successful. The fact that so few of these teens have been pulled over is the measure of success because it means teens are practicing safe driving. In the history of the program we have never had a report that a
registered vehicle has been involved in a crash. We have also never had to report a fatality to a parent whose vehicle was registered in the program. Teens drive more cautiously when they have their parents in the vehicle with them. Having the STOPPED decal on the windshield is a constant reminder to teens that they should ALWAYS drive as cautiously as they do when their parents are in the car.
Q: Am I going to be bombarded with mailings from other companies if I give you my mailing and email addresses?
A: NO – the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association will NEVER sell or give away your contact information. That information is solely kept for the purpose of notifying you if your teen driver is pulled over. You have the opportunity to join our mailing list when you sign up – to receive
information on other MSA programs – but it is NOT necessary for you to do this to enroll in STOPPED.
Q: What if I’m pulled over – will I receive a letter in the mail?
A: NO – law enforcement officers are trained to look for the STOPPED registration decal ONLY if the driver of the vehicle is under 21.
Q: What if someone I didn’t give permission to is driving my vehicle (for example my daughter’s boyfriend) and he gets pulled over – will I be notified?
A: YES – IF the driver is under 21.