2009 National Teen Driver Safety Week
October 18 - 24
National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) is held the third week of October. Designed to spark communication among teenagers, their parents and civic leaders about the causes of and solutions to teen crashes, NTDSW raises awareness about the high risk of teen crashes, the leading cause of death for young people in the U.S.
Many GHSA members use the week as a vehicle for promoting safe teen driving. See below for a sampling of state activities. For more information about a state-specific activity, contact the media contact for that state.
- Alaska—To combat the tendency of teen drivers to speed through neighborhoods and near schools, the Alaska Highway Safety Office is collaborating with Safe Routes To School and School Site Councils on a “Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25!” program. This program will confront the problem at the grassroots level by inviting residents to take responsibility for their own driving behavior. It will include education both inside the classroom and at home. Teachers will instruct students on safe pedestrian habits, and adults will submit articles to newsletters and newspapers which remind drivers to observe the speed limit in neighborhoods and near schools. Additionally, residents will be asked to place signs on their properties that read “Keep Kids Alive, Drive 25.”
- Arkansas—Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe
is issuing a proclamation on October 19 at the Arkansas State Capitol Rotunda. Program participants include: Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson; State Senator Jimmy Jeffress; State Representative Dr. Gene Shelby; Teresa Belew, Director of MADD Arkansas; and students from local high schools.
The ceremony is being held at the State Capitol to continue to help raise the awareness of the importance of this issue to parents, teens, and all citizens of Arkansas.
- California—The California Office of Traffic Safety will be participating in a teen driver safety press event in Sacramento, while another takes place in Los Angeles. The emphasis on both will be distracted driving among teens, particularly using mobile devices. The events will also announce a new grant program by the nonprofit group “Impact Teen Drivers” that will award grants to schools and individuals across the state for projects that seek to discourage mobile device use among teens. In addition, members of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation will be going to schools encouraging participation in the grant program. The City of Santa Clarita and the Automobile Club of Southern California are staging the 2009 Teen Driving Safety Fair.
- Delaware—The Delaware Office of Highway Safety will present its Graduated Driver Licensing Parent Orientation Program (GDL POP) at Lake Forest High School on Oct. 22nd, to educate the parents of student going through driver education there about their responsibilities under the state’s GDL law. The GDL POP is a partnership between DE OHS, the DMV, Delaware State Police, State Farm Insurance and the Think First Trauma Program and is active in nearly a dozen Delaware high schools statewide. OHS will also issue a press release in advance of NTDSW to provide parents with links to websites with vital safety information such as the state’s new Delaware Teen Driving website, which was developed this spring as a result of the partnership formed by the State’s Teen Driver Task Force. The Delaware Teen Driving website has testimonials from teens in crashes, videos promoting traffic safety, a sample driving test, and information about state traffic laws. The Teen Driver Task Force is a consortium of agencies (including OHS) dedicated to educating youth about driver safety. Finally OHS will be reaching out to driver education teachers, wellness center coordinators, school resource officers and others with links to websites such as NHTSA and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that has information about teen driver safety ready to use for this special week.
- Idaho—"Alive at 25" instructors will be offering teenage drivers free classes and additional tools to promote responsible driving. Law enforcement agencies are adopting local high schools and working with local partners to offer free vehicle checks to teens. Law enforcement will work with local students to conduct seat belt surveys. Results will be shared with peers while spreading the buckle up and other traffic safety messages. A news release is being released alerting teenagers and parents of NTDSW. Television advertising has been purchased featuring a message on aggressive driving and seat belt use, and highlighting NTDSW.
- Indiana—During NTDSW, Indiana SADD will be visiting Owen, Daleville and Barr-Reeve High Schools to conduct Quick Click Challenge and impaired driving goggle activities for the students to participate in. Indiana will also be conducting two additional Ford DSFL events near Peru, Indiana on the 20th and Evansville on the 22nd. More than 100 students are expected to attend and participate in both of the Ford DSFL events held throughout the state that week. Lastly, a press release will be distributed throughout the state with regards to NTDSW that will highlight Indiana’s strengthened GDL that passed the legislature earlier this year.
- Iowa—Iowa will be issuing a news release in conjunction with a corridor enforcement blitz which will be held on October 23, 2009. Law enforcement will be targeting students before and after school and at night before and after sporting events. In this news release National Teen Driver Safety Week will be highlighted. The concentration of the enforcement and media outreach will primarily be on seat belt compliance.
- Kentucky—In support of NTDSW, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is conducting highway safety awareness programs in schools statewide to educate teens on the benefits of seat belts and the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. These programs include the Rollover Simulator, a Mock Crash and the Distracted Driving (D2) Interactive Simulator. Local advisories and releases will be sent for each school program. A story in the "Safety Connection" newsletter distributed to highway safety professionals, advocates, and educators will highlight the events of the week.
- Louisiana—The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission has launched a new website (www.lahighwaysafety.org/teen.html), including a page devoted to teen driving. Partnerships continue with youth programs and enforcement agencies across the state. The LHSC is participating in a National Demonstration Project for Teen Seat Belt use and activities from National Teen Driver Week will culminate in a Teen Belt Mobilization the end of the month.
- Maryland— The state is issuing a press release that will focus on promoting and raising awareness of the new Maryland State Graduated Drivers Licensing law changes for young novice drivers that went into effect on October 1st as well as highlighting NTSDW. A variety of different educational activities will take place across the state throughout the week including but, not limited to: collateral material distribution, school presentations, and other various program launches. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has put together an informational brochure which includes tips for parents and teens. In partnership with the Choose Safety for Life campaign, Maryland is also announcing the release of the young driver webpage (www.choosesafetyforlife.com/youngdrivers.html), to help raise awareness in traffic safety and promotion of safe teen driving practices.
- Massachusetts—With funding from the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), Massachusetts SADD has been working with schools throughout Massachusetts to provide them with creative ideas for reaching out to students during National Teen Driver Safety Week. Some of the schools, for example, will have daily video announcements on teen driver statistics, tie red ribbons on the antennas of every car at the school to boost awareness for safe driving, conduct quick-click challenges to show how easy it is to buckle up, and host speakers to come to the schools to talk about safe driving. EOPSS will also send letters to school administrators notifying them of National Teen Driver Safety Week and provide traffic safety activities for use now and throughout the year.
- Michigan—Teen drivers will be tasked with driving and texting and talking on a cell phone while at the Michigan State Police Drive track for a special event to highlight NTDSW. The event, sponsored by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, will put teens on a closed-course while trying to text, talk on the cell phone, and handle other distractions.
- Minnesota—Minnesota is announcing its “Don’t Text & Drive! Teen TV Commercial Challenge," a contest where teens produce TV spots that communicate the importance of not texting while driving. The top spots will be posted for an online vote in May 2010. The top winner receives $1,000 and a broadcast premiere of their spot, with $600 and $400 going to the second and third place winners, respectively.
- Mississippi—The state is participating in a National Demonstration Project for Teen Seat Belt use. A Teen Belt Mobilization will be held October 19th through October 25th. During this time, law enforcement will handing out Digital Media cards to Teens with Mississippi's Rock the Belt logo. The digital media cards will encourage students to visit a website and fill out a short questionnaire, watch a roll over video and then will receive a free download of a song or ringtone. They are also registering for one of two free Ipod Nanos to be given away. MS Office of Highway Safety also will host their 2009 Club Officer Training Conference. This one day conference will feature workshops such as National Car Care Clinic Academy, PSA contest, Seat Belts, and everyone will go view and possibly participate in a hands on demonstration with MDOT's Convincer. We are expecting over 500 students for this statewide event. In order to kick off the awareness of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Puckett Middle School will prepare their students by hosting Rock the Belt. Mississippi's Rock the Belt program covers all three ways that kids learn: Listening, Watching and Hands On. Students will hear and participate in a presentation segment, watch a video and then Rock the Belt. The quick click challenge with today's music and a lot of interaction!
- Missouri—Missouri is launching round two of the Get Your Buckle On video contest. Teens are encouraged to ‘Show Us Your Seatbelt Dance’ for a chance to win prizes. The contest will kickoff with the announcement of the winners of the first round of the contest. Paid media runs through October and includes radio, cable and Internet ads that feature short games that end in a safe driving message and click through to getyourbuckleon.com. A statewide press release details the campaign plans. In addition, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is sponsoring the Battle of the Belt program, where high schools compete for the highest rate of seat belt usage. More information can be found online at saveMOlives.com and getyourbuckleon.com.
- New Jersey—The New Jersey Teen Driver Study Commission, working with the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey and statewide traffic safety partners, is holding a reception on Oct. 20 to highlight the progress made to date in implementing the Commission’s recommendations and to renew the commitment to saving young lives through action and advocacy. Open to the media, the event will will include recognition of the Commission for receiving a 2009 Peter K. O’Rourke Special Achievement Award at the GHSA 2009 Annual Meeting. A new teen driver/parent website, www.NJteendriving.com, developed by the Brain Injury Association, with funding from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, will also be showcased. In addition, students from Project Lundy, a school-based organization dedicated to ensuring New Jersey’s young drivers remain safe behind the wheel, will give a special presentation.
- New Mexico—The state will be working on a teen seat belt demonstration project with the intention of increasing teen seat belt use through high-visibility seat belt enforcement activity and tailored media and outreach during the October campaign period. New Mexico has 8 focus counties for this project (Bernalillo, Dona Ana, San Juan, McKinley, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Lea and Sandoval). They are counties that have shown to have the highest fatality rates in New Mexico. For the enforcement portion of the project, we will use state, local, county and tribal agencies to run enforcement zones, saturation patrols and nighttime enforcement activities at fast food restaurants, shopping centers, malls, and outside sporting events for increased enforcement in high teen hang out areas. The state is coordinating an advertising period to promote the campaign, starting the 5th of October and ending on the 25th.
- Nevada—The Nevada Highway Patrol, the local PACE (Partners Allied for Community Excellence) organization, and State Farm area presenting at an assembly at the Elko High School on Teen driving and safety. 500 teens are expected. Prizes, donated by State Farm, will be offered. Teens will be shown some driving while texting videos, DUI videos, and discussing the high fatality risks that they face while driving. PACE also has a DUI driving computer simulator that will be there and projected on a big screen for all to see and experience.
- Ohio—The Ohio Traffic Safety Office is participating in pilot kickoff of CDC's Teen Driver Safety Program with events and a small media buy. It is also partnering with State Farm Insurance and University Hospitals to produce and distribute posters and fliers with information for parents regarding Ohio's GDL laws and partnering with FOX Sports Ohio to hold a contest for teens to produce their own teen driver safety PSAs to be aired during a FOX Broadcast. Ohio is continuing a new partnership with SADD, working with the SADD National Student of the Year to develop and support peer-to-peer initiatives for teen driver safety. In addition to a statewide press release, law enforcement and Safe Community partners around the state will also be holding local events focused on teen driver safety.
- Tennessee—The state will again offer Thinkfast interactive game shows focusing on alcohol awareness and overall traffic safety at various high schools across the state. Media outreach is planned to highlight state laws and teen safety opportunities. The state’s department of transportation will also present the "Between The Barrels" work zone safety program to three-five high schools across the state. The state will also have the 2nd annual "Lead and Live" youth conference in November. Additionally, the state just completed an extensive partnership with Ford’s Driving Skills for Life program.
- Washington—The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) is partnering with State Farm to produce three video vignettes for parents that will be unveiled for National Teen Driver Safety Week. These 2-3 minute clips get parents' attention by using humorous depictions of that "first drive" with their teen and incude tips to make it a more pleasant and educational experience. The WTSC will work to get earned media around these spots to drive parents to a new website (www.washingtonteendriversafetyweek.com) where they can view the vignettes and get further information. This website will be launched on October 15. In addition, on October 6, teen driving stakeholders will join Governor Christine Gregoire as she signs a proclamation declaring October 18 - 24 as "Teen Driver Safety Week" in Washington State.