BALTIMORE (WJZ)– With a spike in fatal teen crashes last year, a new Maryland campaign aims to help make roads safer.

For many teens getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage.

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For 17-year-old Trey Glover that comes with a big responsibility.

“I’m nervous, I’ll be honest I’m nervous,” said Trey’s mom, Kathy Glover.

Like many parents, Trey’s mother has concerns with her teen getting behind the wheel.

Experts believe the lack of experience combined with dangerous habits puts teens at higher risk for deadly crashes.

Last year the number of drivers ranging in ages 16 to 20 were killed on Maryland roads jumped up 75 percent from 2014.

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“Truly zero is the only number that is acceptable because they’re not numbers, they’re people, friends, family members that’s what we are striving for,” said Chrissy Nizer, with the Motor Vehicle Administration in Maryland.

The State of Maryland is driving home 5 important messages:

  • Put down the cell phones
  • Don’t ride with extra passengers
  • Obey the speed limit
  • Absolutely no alcohol
  • Always buckle up

“We don’t have the experience as other drivers who have been driving and I feel other people think we are more prone to distractions, so we have to make sure we keep a good name for ourselves,” said Trey.

As he embarks on this new found freedom he is making a pledge: to obey the rules of the road and avoid becoming another statistic.

Governor Larry Hogan recently announced that $12.5 million in federal funds will go to 80 agencies across our state enforcing laws on the road and cut down on traffic deaths.

Last year a total of 521 people died as a result of traffic related collisions in Maryland.

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