We are a non-profit advocacy group that supports children’s right to live safely. Neon18.com believes that while children may make mistakes, adults are accountable for the children in their circle of influence. Children under 21 are still developing their adolescent brains, and when it comes to driving or any activity, we need to help our young people to be responsible.
Since the “Luis Ortega Street-Racing Bill” failed in The Florida Legislature in 2009 and there is very little protection from illegal street-racing in our neighborhoods, we need to advocate safe driving in the pro-racing capital of the USA! Every year there are annual racing events and our children are dying on the sides of the roadways, without any metrics for illegal street racing or any representation of the fact that SPEED KILLS!
The Louis Ortega Street Racing Bill was finally passed and signed into law at the end of April 2010. After three tries in the Florida Legislature, The Street Racing Bill increases fines and penalties for illegal street-racing. There were many compromises but the law is now in place and now it is up to all of the Florida Police, Sheriffs and Highway Patrol Departments to enforce the law. The police are going to need help enforcing the laws and without real drivers’ education and support from professional racing organizations, illegal street racing will continue to kill our children.
The legal language regarding illegal street racing was found to be unconstitutional in 2007 because it was too vague. The law went from 5-7 lines of legal explanation to one full page in the book of criminal statutes. Now that the penalties are in place and the law has been rewritten for clarity. We need to educate our young people on the dangers of street racing, speed, and reckless driving. NO EXCUSES!
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No Excuses On 18:
When children turn 18, and they make bad choices, people often say, “Well, they were 18, an adult – it was their choice.” The teenage brain is not developed until at least age 21, so those three years between 18 and 21 are critical for learning how to become an adult. This idea seems so elementary, but we are loosing our young adult children in preventable accidents and crimes in unmeasured numbers: vehicular manslaughter, murder, rape, etc.
In America we want our children to go to college so they can mature and make “good choices.” The Spring season during college selection is particularly stressful and parents must be vigilant to make sure that their children are not too stressed out …and that “Spring Break” is a safe time for fun not for regrets. Family reinforcements of boundaries and rules that are appropriate for driving, partying, and other Spring Break activities is what NEON 18 speaks to; we want our children to celebrate their 21st Birthdays.
Please see the attached Parent-Teen Safe Teen Driving Contract. Share the Contract with your Teenager and sign it together.
On April 2nd of 2005, at 10:15 a.m., a tragedy occurred at mile marker # 27 on Highway 528 (Beachline) in Orange County, Florida. The life of a young, beautiful, talented girl was violently taken. Her name was Emily Jasmine; she was my 18 year-old daughter.
This is not a story of grief, of how to overcome tragedy, of how to rebuild your life from the ashes left behind by a loved one’s death. This is a narrative, if you will, of the dangers of street racing, the careless culture of racing fanatics, and the lack of concern for human life. This is the compelling recounting of the tragedy of a gifted, promising young lady. A young lady whose life was cut short by a world that bowed down to the shrine of the Speed Fanatic Culture, where private businesses and young drivers are fascinated by speed and blind to the blood sport and it’s consequences.
The young man, who tried to pass another vehicle on the highway in his brand new Honda Civic at excessive speeds of 95-100 mph, also lost his life that Saturday morning in April. Sadly and tragically, two families are left behind who must pick up the pieces and somehow make sense of their new reality in a culture that will not address the unintended consequences of Speed. Grooming children and young adults to love the adrenaline rush is a new trend in the speed-culture and so the tragedies are marked on our highways.
History repeats itself again and again. When will we stand up for our young adults?
Neon18.com is an advocacy group for safe teen driving. Since 2007 we have given 6 scholarships to deserving students heading for college in memory of our beautiful and talented daughter, Emily Jasmine. We continue to raise awareness of the dangers of speed and reckless driving decisions for young drivers under 21 by partnering with like-minded advocacy groups.
There is always a choice to be made.