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December 06, 1996 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-06

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 6, 1996

NATION/WORLD

r

Fatal car crashes.
with teen drivers
drop nationwide

AP PHOTO
Shots in memory
A kaibile, special forces soldier shoots into the air in remembrance of the fallen soldiers during 36 years of war at the last special forces graduation ceremony
yesterday in Poptun, El Peten, Guatemala. The Guatemalan army is discontinuing the training of these special counter-insurgency units due to the signing of the
final peace accords in Latin America's longest civil war.
Classic toys return this holiday season

ATLANTA (AP) - Fatal car crashes
involving teen drivers dropped 24 per-
cent in the past eight years, and the gov-
ernment gives some, of the credit to
laws that limit their driving privileges
while they gain experience behind the
wheel.
But the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention said yesterday that
crashes are still the top killer of youths
between 15 and 20 and urged parents to
be the road police in states where the
laws aren't in place.
The CDC
said teen dri-
vers were Preopl
involved in
7,993 fatal encourag
crashes in
1995, down 24 decline,
percent from
10,415 in 1988. want t#hei
"There is a ;
decline but
there has been a
a slight drop in
all age groups
said Ann risk for ti
Dellinger,. a accidents
CDC epidemi-
ologist. otherage
"People will be
encouraged by
this decline, but CDC
I . don't want
them to forget
that teens are at
a higher risk for these accidents than
any other age."
That's evident in another statistic:
Young drivers were involved in about 2
million non-fata),crashes in 1995 alone,
the CDC said.
Young drivers between 15 and 20
make up 7 percent of all licensed dri-
vers but 14 percent of drivers involved
in fatal crashes,,
Teens are more apt to speed and to
drive recklessly, have little experience
behind the wheel when they start out
and, as they grow older, have more
access to alcohol, Dellinger said.
Over the past eight years, teen drivers
were involved .in 68,206 fatal crashes.
Most of them were boys, more than a
quarter had been drinking and more
than half were not wearing seat belts.

16
al
m
e

All the more reason for limits, the
CDC said. That's the thinking behind
new laws adopted in at least 15 states
credited in part with stopping teens
from steering into disaster.
The laws establish a multi-step, or
"graduated" license that slowly give
teen-agers more and more driving priv-
ileges as they gain experience behind
the wheel, such as increased hours e
more passengers. Some programs
require adult supervision.until a youth
gains enough driving experience.
But at least one
researcher said
will be it's too early to
credit these laws
id byIthis for the drop in
teen crashes.
t d n't "I think it's
more becaus
t an increased fe
of seat belts and
tteen air bags," said
Rob Foss of the
gher University of
North Carolina,
who has studied
v graduated licens-
Sing for three
Syears. "They are
' the most likely
Ann Dellinger explanatio@.
pidemiologist They save lives:"
Kentucky and
Michigan -
which along with
Florida approved graduated licensing
this year - are considered to have the
most extensive programs.
What other states are doing varies
widely. Some limit the nighttime hours
when teens can drive, and otfs
require young drivers to have a learn:
permit for six months or more.
But most states still have attached
few rules to getting an unrestricted
license. The CDC hopes 35 states will
have adopted some version of the
multi-step licensing by the year 2000.
"There will be clear benefits in states
that have a comprehensive licensing
program, but it can't be in bits and
pieces," Foss said.
In the meantime, parents also car*
the job, the CDC said.
"They can work out a schedule
with their young drivers, they can
insist on seat belt use and what hours
in the day or night they can drive,"
Dellinger said.

Lacking a single
popular hit, older toys
'shine'
The Allentown Morning Call
It's a refrain heard often at this time
of the year.
"They don't make toys like they used
to."
But they do, lots of them, and this is
one holiday season you just might
notice.
There's no Cabbage Patch doll, no
Power Ranger action figure, no block-
buster toy at all to hog the attention. So
the tried and true are getting their due.
Some are calling it a classic come-

back.
But by virtue of their definition, the
classics never really went away.
Take Uncle Milton's Ant Farm, for
instance.
"We were always cool," said
spokesperson Caryl Svendsen, "but in
the absence of these mega-branding
products, we shine a little more."
The Ant Farm is celebrating its 40th
birthday and the company is actually
bragging that the plastic habitat for
watching live ants create their world is
virtually the same as it was in 1956.
It's not the only one.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary with
changes that have amounted to little
more than an updated box and spinner

is Milton Bradley's Twister.
And, to mark the 40th anniversary of
Yahtzee, Milton Bradley has released a
commemorative edition with foil-stamp
packaging and a leather-like throwing
tray with matching dice cup. It's not
much different than the original.
Lincoln Logs turned 80 this year, a
good time for Playskool to remind par-
ents that the simple Wild West building
set was actually invented by John Lloyd
Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd
Wright. The logs are still made of wood
and a commemorative edition is avail-
able in the dark, rosewood color remi-
niscent of the original product.
Also on the cusp of its own 80th
anniversary is Radio Flyer, the maker of
the original little red wagon.
The blockbuster movie "Toy Story,"
with its cast of classics like Mr. Potato
Head and Etch A Sketch, is credited for
helping to remind people about the play
value of some of the old standards.

Some of the toys have special "Toy
Story" editions.
While many of the classic toys have
been selling steadily for years, some are
experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
Like Gumby.
The first time anybody saw the flexi-
ble green clayboy was in 1956 on the
Howdy Doody Show. He was a sensa-
tion, his happy-go-lucky, caring and
honest personality appealing to both
young and old. Today, he's a hit among
a new generation, inspired in part by the
Gumby television show on
Nickelodeon and Gumby movie on
home video.
To mark Gumby's 40th birthday,
Trendmasters has issued more than a
dozen new products, including play sets
which are the first ever Gumby items
advertised on television.
Toy industry observers find nothing
surprising about the continued interest
in these classics.

1

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