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Youth Traffic Court, Suffolk

This is how you can get your son or daughter out of trouble with a traffic ticket. Contact us to help you navigate this program. Note that to qualify for the program, a parent MUST attend court and take part in the classes with the teen. Call us at 1-888-275-2620 for assistance with this program.

Motorists 18 and younger who commit traffic violations in Suffolk County — such as speeding — will be sent to the newly created Youth Traffic Court, where they could receive leniency in exchange for participating in a diversion program.

The idea behind the initiative is to teach teens to become safe drivers, said Paul Margiotta, executive director of the county’s Traffic and Parking Violations Agency.

“The punishment does nothing to teach them how to drive better,” Margiotta said at a news conference in Hauppauge. “So, we give up the punishment part for the education part.”

The program requires a parent to come to court with the teen and take part in the class, which officials said could be eight hours long.

Youth Traffic Court, which officials said is the first of its kind in New York, started operating last month. Margiotta said court is in session on the second Friday of every month in Hauppauge.

Between 2012 and 2014, there were 34,000 new driver’s licenses issued in Suffolk, Margiotta said. He said they were mostly young drivers hitting the roads for the first time.

Each year, more than 5,000 teens are involved in motor vehicle crashes in Suffolk, representing about 17 percent of all crashes in the county, according to Margiotta and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Of New York’s 62 counties, Suffolk has the highest number of fatal crashes involving teens, said Rachel Lugo, an advocate for highway safety from the Hauppauge-based EAC Network. She said Suffolk also has the lowest rate of seat-belt usage.