BEVERLY HILLS—Starting Sunday, October 18 through Saturday, October 24 is National Teen Driver Safety Week and the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) is encouraging parents to discuss the importance of safe driving habits with their newly licensed teen drivers.

The BHPD is asking parents to get involved with their teen’s new responsibility as a driver and help them understand the rules of the road frequently and not just during the National Teen Driver Safety Week.

“New drivers will naturally be inexperienced,” said BHPD Chief Dominick Rivetti. “Parents play an important role helping teens stay safe behind the wheel. It starts with practicing good habits like wearing a seat belt, staying off the phone and following the speed limit.”

The BHPD noted that distracted driving, speeding, impairment are the greatest risks for teens and that the department would offer tips to parents and caregivers throughout the week on ways to communicate about the consequences of dangerous and illegal choices while driving. Rules to adhere to include:

-Avoid Distractions: Cellphone use while driving is illegal. Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use a phone or other electronic device for any reason, including hands-free.

-Understand Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws: For the first 12 months you have a license or until the age of 18, no passengers under 20 years old are allowed unless a licensed parent, guardian or other adult 25 yeas old or older in the car with you. Late- night driving (between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.) is also not permitted.

-Driving Under the influence: All teens are too young to legally buy, possess or consume alcohol. Under California’s zero tolerance law, any driver under 21 cannot drink any alcohol and drive (blood alcohol concentration of .01 percent or higher).

-Follow the speed limit: The road is not a racetrack. Speeding is risky behavior that increases the chances of serious injury or death in a crash.

The police department noted parents the importance of reminding teen drivers the fact that driving is not a right, but a privilege which can be taken away for breaking rules.

To learn more about state laws for different traffic safety issues, visit the Governors Highway Safety Association website.