With funding from a Ford Driving Skills for Life and GHSA teen driving grant, the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) hosted its 2018 Youth and Young Adults Conference earlier this year. This event brought together more than 150 students and advisors from high schools and colleges throughout the state for programming to help them effectively champion highway safety in their home communities.
On the first day of the conference, students had the opportunity to explore a variety of indoor and outdoor safe driving exhibits, including a rollover simulator, information on the Shepherd Center's AutoCoach app, resources from MADD, and a station demonstrating the dangers of impaired driving. At the evening's welcome dinner, attendees heard from former wrestling champion Marc Mero, a well-known youth advocate and motivational speaker.
The following day began with a presentation from police officer (and former GOHS Law Enforcement Liaison) Brian Mixon, who gave a powerful talk on the importance of making safe decisions behind the wheel. Students then participated in 3-D Cinema Drive, a program providing young drivers with the knowledge necessary to change poor driving habits and inspire community-wide behavioral shifts. Throughout the day, attendees also had the opportunity to participate in Arrive Alive, a program to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted and drunk driving. Students also attended a variety of workshops, including sessions on social media and effective drug education, a presentation from the SADD National chapter, and a discussion with a crash survivor and safe driving advocate. The conference closed with a speech from GOHS Deputy Director Jim Andrews, who shared his experiences in the field as a former state trooper.
With a full schedule of informative and empowering sessions and speakers, the 2018 Youth and Young Adults Conference provided its attendees with a wealth of knowledge to bring home as they continue to advocate for safer roads in their own communities.