Missouri's Deadly Epidemic: Unlicensed Drivers

1 decade 8 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, March 29 2007 Mar 29, 2007 Thursday, March 29, 2007 7:28:18 PM CDT March 29, 2007 in News

"I told them, nothing good happens at three o'clock in the morning," said Mark Stretz, who still struggles with his grief.

Last month, his two teenage sons took a ride with a friend that ended in a crash, killing 13-year-old Harley. The driver was only 14, and had no license.

"I did it as a kid, my brother did it as a kid, and lots of other kids do it," admitted Mark Stretz. "It's a part of it, but this time it went too far."

And, adults can be an even bigger problem. Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Anthony Helfrecht has pulled over drivers with suspended or revoked licenses every week during his six years on the force.

"On Thanksgiving last year, there was a fatal [crash] involving an unlicensed driver," Helfrecht recalled. "He made some wrong decisions along the way and ended up killing a couple of folks. We never like to go to an accident scene such like that, which could have been prevented, but it did happen."

Last year, the Missouri Highway Patrol stopped more than 20,000 unlicensed drivers on the road. Some were too young, others had a suspended or revoked license.

But, Chris Ricks of the Highway Patrol said troopers can't catch unlicensed drivers until they break other laws, such as speeding or driving recklessly.

"Unlicensed drivers are not only involved in minor traffic accidents, but they're involved in serious traffic crashes," he explained.

The penalty for unlicensed driving can be a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail, although jail is the rare exception.

"The most effective deterrent to unlicensed driving comes from insurance companies that raise premiums on drivers who get caught," Ricks added.

Meanwhile, Mark Stretz hopes everyone drives more safely because of his son Harley's death.

"He was a beautiful kid," Mark said with a sob. "If there's any way that your kids don't have access to the keys or anything else, lock it. That's what you need to do."

Missouri isn't the only state that has problems with unlicensed drivers. Arizona passed a law last year, requiring police to impound cars of unlicensed drivers.

More News

Grid
List
MILLER COUNTY - Prosecutors charged a Miller County man with failing to comply with sex offender registration for a third... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:44:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – The growth of Columbia Regional Airport is set to take another step forward Wednesday morning. Mayor Brian... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:04:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - SWAT teams broke in to a home on Fir Place following a standoff early Wednesday, but did not... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:55:00 AM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For people in jail, it's sometimes difficult to get together the funds to bail out. That's where... More >>
12 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:24:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama Republican Roy Moore, beset by allegations of sexual misconduct, lost his bid to become a senator.... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:30:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The former Cole County Chief Juvenile Officer sued his former boss and the Cole County Commission Tuesday,... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:33:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - An abandoned car caught fire Tuesday at the intersection of East Broadway and South Rolling Hills Road.... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Update: Police said the investigation into the Monday Old Hawthorne homicide revealed a home invasion and drug use. Investigators... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has entered in a new foster care study that will look at foster parent recruitment and retention.... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A criminal investigation was underway Tuesday after a man's death and a vehicle fire. Foul play was... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 5:08:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Cover Missouri, a coalition promoting sign ups for the Affordable Care Act, held an open-enrollment event at the... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The 2018 Jefferson City council elections only have one contested seat: 5th Ward Council member. Incumbent... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:41:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Truman VA’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) went live with a new Tele-ICU technology on Tuesday. Tele-ICU... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Police are still investigating the death of Augustus Roberts, the man found dead at a home in the... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:46:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Troopers arrested a man on Tuesday after a high-speed chase which started south of Ashland and ended in... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 3:38:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:37:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri has become the 34th state, in addition to two territories, to accept a nationwide public safety network.... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:35:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
NEVADA (AP) — Two inmates who were captured soon after breaking out of a western Missouri jail face new charges.... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 2:20:00 PM CST December 12, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 47°
11am 48°
12pm 52°
1pm 54°
2pm 55°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
Golden Globe 75th Anniversary Special
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Dynasty
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld