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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2006 Winner: Pete Booker, Delmarva Broadcasting Company

GHSA Highway Safety Awards

Pete Booker

Julian "Pete" Booker, President and CEO, and all of Delmarva Broadcasting Company are committed to improving teen driving safety in Delaware through the creation and implementation of the Smart Drive program. Mr. Booker formulated this program because 18 teen motor vehicle related deaths occurred from January 2003 through March 2005.

Introduced to students at in-school assemblies statewide in the fall of 2005, Smart Drive is an educational program for teens that focuses on safe driving, and is aimed specifically at 11th and 12th grade high school students. The program provides training to students who have already completed in-school driver education courses and are fully licensed. It involves written and hands-on driving activities that must be completed by both the student and parent.

In each of the five program months, students received a module focusing on a different aspect of driving safety to complete at home. Students also regularly received special incentive items in the form of safety literature, tire pressure gauges, basic roadside emergency kits and more. Additionally, prizes and incentives were available to those who participated in and completed the program. The winners received the prizes based on the scores earned in the monthly modules and in an accompanying journal kept by each family. All those who completed the five-month long program were invited to attend a special summer concert put on by Delmarva Broadcasting.

There were several outstanding elements and creative approaches utilized in the creation and implementation of Smart Drive. The program reached 412 students at 16 Delaware high schools, and Mr. Booker went to each school to present the program. The consortium of safety partners pooled resources to provide incentives to students and then worked as a team to grade the monthly modules submitted by all 412 students. The modules were aggregated into a concept known as a "Road Rally" and were developed by driver education teachers, Delaware State Police, Delaware Safety Council and other driving safety professionals. The program rolled out in assemblies at each school, emceed by Delmarva Broadcasting radio personalities to excite and motivate students, and featured brief presentations by a different safety partner for each assembly. A student advisory panel was formed at participating schools to evaluate effectiveness of the program, suggest enhancements and to assist in the program operation. A website was created for the program at www.smartdrivede.org which allowed students to print out monthly modules and keep track of the program and happenings in participating schools. Lastly, Delmarva Broadcasting leveraged its business and sales contacts to provide incentives and prizes for the program.

Even though it is difficult to attribute a decrease in teen motor vehicle fatalities and crashes just to the program in 2005, there were four fewer traffic fatalities to teens, eight fewer fatal traffic crashes involving 16 and 17 year old drivers and 11 fewer injury crashes involving 16 and 17 year olds.

For more information, contact Julian "Pete" Booker, President/CEO of Delmarva Broadcasting Company, at pbooker@dbc1.com or (302) 478-2700.