Suffolk launches 1st youth traffic court in US

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HAUPPAUGE -

Authorities say a new Suffolk County traffic court for drivers under 18 years old is the first of its kind in the country.

County Executive Steve Bellone announced the new court Friday. He says it will give teens a chance to learn from their first driving mistakes -- things like speeding or texting while driving.

It also means no trials, no pleading guilty, no losing their license months after they just started to drive. 

Authorities say more than 5,000 teens are involved in car crashes in Suffolk every year. The new court aims to lower that number by helping young drivers rather than punishing them.

Teens have to come to the court with at least one parent. Officials say that stipulation helps keep the return rate low.

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