By FAITH WILLIAMS
Assistant CTTeens Editor
Parents are nervous when their teen begins driving. It never crosses a teens mind that one day they will leave and never see their parent again.
That was the unfortunate reality for Tim Hollister, father of the late teen Reid Hollister. However, instead of dwelling on the tragedy, Hollister turned it into something positive by making parents and teens more aware of what they should know about teens and driving.
According to Hollister’s blog, Reid was a seventeen-year-old novice driver, only having his license for 11 months. On December 2, 2006, Reid went on “joy ride” with his friends at 9:30 p.m.
Reid was travelling on I-84 in Plainville, above the speed limit and after a rainfall. He was trying to get home and went into a curve too fast. He then over corrected his turn causing the vehicle to do 2 360s.
His car hit the guardrail right against the driver’s door causing Reid’s chest to be crushed on the left side. While his friends suffered from injuries but eventually recovered, Reid Hollister was pronounced dead 5 hours later.
Following his son’s death, Tim Hollister began serving on the 2007-2008 statewide task force that suggested to legislature a complete renovation of Connecticut’s teen drivers laws. He then became an advocate of safe teen driving.
“We took it from one of the most lenient laws in the country to the strictest” Hollister said, “and over 6 years we have a 71% reduction in our fatality rate in Connecticut”.
Tim Hollister began his blog, From Reid’s Dad, as a therapeutic way to deal with the passing of his only son. His blog is geared towards parents with driving teens and making them aware of the dangers and risks.
Not only did Hollister begin this blog but he also wrote a book named Not So Fast. It is a guide for parents while their teen is learning to drive or already have their license.
When asked about how parents responded to his book, Hollister said they would tell him how much of an eye opener it was for them. Also they say that the book was helpful because it talks about what other books don’t mention.
In 2014 alone, Hollister taught on a monthly base at two driving schools in Avon and West Hartford at the two-hour safe teen driving which is required for parents to attend with their teen. He also served as the luncheon speaker at the Connecticut Trauma Association’s annual conference in March.
Hollister serves as the DMV Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on safe teen driving. In June 2015, Hollister established the Reid Hollister Scholarship, which is a $2,500 grant by the National Organizations for Youth Safety to college students who create the best social media campaign to fight distracted driving.
Tim Hollister is making it his mission to prevent what happened to him to any other parents. Making parents more aware of the risks and dangers can only help this process.
Faith Williams is a senior at Francis T. Maloney High School, Meriden.