Should Georgia Toughen Up Teen Driving Laws?

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ATLANTA — Some say state lawmakers need to take a closer look at teen driving laws after an accident that killed a teen and injured the daughter and granddaughters of Roy Barnes, the Democratic candidate for governor.

Police say Mario Zuniga, 17, lost control of his speeding Porsche on Sunday and hit head-on into the car of Allison Barnes Salter.

Salter and her daughters, ages 4 and 6, were injured in the crash. Zuniga died Monday.

Records show that Zuniga was arrested on traffic charges on Sept. 21.

Cobb County police charged the teen with driving after curfew and possession of marijuana.

Zuniga was awaiting a December court date and was legally allowed to drive when the crash happened.

“One option would be to take that person’s license so they cannot drive in between the time that they are charged and the time they go to court,” said Georgia Sen. Vincent Fort, D-39th District.

Fort told CBS Atlanta that he will look at whether teen driving laws need to be reexamined.

“I think we need to toughen our laws,” said Woodrow Gaines, who founded Fear This, Inc., a nonprofit teen driving school. “I think we need to create better training. I think we need to be more proactive.”

But some say the legal system can only go so far and that parents bear responsibility for their teen’s driving.

Nate Lockett, the father of a 17-year-old, said that he would take the keys from his daughter if she was arrested on traffic charges.

“That would’ve been like a no-brainer,” said Lockett. “She wouldn’t have been able to drive at all.”

Barnes’ daughter and her two children have been released from the hospital.

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