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'It's a privilege, not a right': parents, instructors warn kids of driving recklessly

Driving to school is a rite of passage. In a few days, It will be a reality for 16-year-old Gary Byers. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- Driving to school is a rite of passage. In a few days, It will be a reality for 16-year-old Gary Byers.

He got his license in August and his looking forward to driving to school.

"Super excited," he said. "Ready to just go explore, I guess, and hang out with all my friends and stuff."

He had his driving permit for nine months, went through driving school training and spent dozens of hours practicing.

Derek Byers says his son has put in the work and is a good kid.

"I stressed with my kids it is a privilege to drive, not a right," Derek said. "And if they mess it up they can lose that privilege."

Jeff Westover, who is the owner of 911 Driving Schools in Lacey, Tacoma, Lakewood and Port Orchard and former cop, stresses to his students the importance of driving safety and making good decisions.

During his interview with KOMO News, Westover recalled a tragic crash he responded to while on the force.

"The guy was at a red light and his light turned green and he didn't scan the intersection and he was struck by a lady, who was high on methamphetamines," Westover said.

Derek Byers is proud of his son's new freedom.

"It's fun to get to see him move on to this next chapter and start being able to have those freedoms that come with it," Byers said.

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