Top education, law enforcement, traffic safety leaders and others joined each other at Culver City High last week to announce steps to reduce teen deaths from distracted and reckless driving through the Impact Teen Drivers awareness and education program.
It includes a new contest for teens and schools, called Create Real IMPACT grants, that encourages teens to create meaningful messages for other teens about being safe behind the wheel.
Commissioner Joe Farrow of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) notes, "Our officers tell us one of the most stressful parts of their job is when they have to tell the parents of a teen that their child was killed in an automobile crash. We are proud to play a role in this educational program to reduce collisions, save teens from injury or death, and keep a parent or family member from receiving heartbreaking news."
Driving deaths are the number one killer of teens; and the most frequent causes are distracted and reckless driving. "Crash data demonstrate that more action is needed," added Commissioner Farrow. "In addition to the high rate of teen drivers who are involved in a crash in their first year of driving, the fatal crash risk per mile driven by 16-year-olds is twice that of 18 to 19-year-olds, and about seven times the risk for drivers ages 30-59."
"The Create Real Impact grants are about empowering teens to promote the safe driving message, which we believe is fundamental in causing a sustained behavior shift," said Kelly Browning, executive director of Impact Teen Drivers. "This isn't about bad kids doing bad things, but good kids making poor choices. One poor choice can alter or end their lives forever."