SADD Students in Pennsylvania Win National Safe Driving Contest
Marlborough, Mass. (May 28, 2014) – The Allegheny Teen Safe Driving Committee captured second place and won $1,500 in a nationwide driving skills contest sponsored by SADD and The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF). The prize money will support the local traffic crash prevention programs developed by teens and others collaborating through this safe driving committee.
“Traffic crashes are the number one killer of teens, and young drivers are involved in fatal crashes at three times the rate of older drivers,” said Penny Wells, SADD President and CEO. “Many crashes are due largely to teens’ driving inexperience and this contest is designed to help build awareness of driving risks. Throughout our 33 years, SADD students have left a tangible mark on American society, representing a culture change on the issue of impaired driving. Today, our students are teaching their peers about other challenges they face behind the wheel.”
The #DrivingSkills101@UrTurn contest challenged teens to create a safe driving campaign with three goals of gaining school involvement, media engagement and community interaction. Students at each participating school were afforded the opportunity to determine which aspect of driving skills they wanted to tackle, ranging from blind spots, handling intersections, left turns, lane changes, merging into traffic, as well as speeding and tailgating.
“Seven teens ages 16 to 19 die every day in motor vehicle crashes,” said 15-year-old Madeline Abt, student at Shaler Area High School and spokesperson for the Allegheny Teen Safe Driving Committee. “Our second annual YIELD conference provided the latest information about preventing distracted and careless driving to better prepare our young drivers and decrease these alarming numbers.”
The half-day YIELD (Youth Involved Education of Legal Drivers) Conference last December drew more than 200 participants, students and adults from six area schools and adult representatives from more than 20 traffic safety and health organizations. Keynotes included two youth speakers with personal stories related to distracted driving, a local celebrity, videos, breakout sessions and an opportunity to engage one’s skills in a distracted driving simulator donated by an area hospital.
“Our conference is something that people look forward to each year,” said 17-year-old Madeline Seel, also of Shaler Area High School SADD and founder of YIELD. “We have created an atmosphere at Shaler Area High and in the community where students talk about these issues and so real change can happen.”
This year’s contest and campaign rollout are the second phase of the NRSF/SADD partnership. The #DrivingSkills@UrTurn concept was vetted by a dozen youth leaders comprising the SADD National Student Leadership Council. Winning entries were judged on information and messaging, creativity, teen-friendliness and engagement by the school, community and media. The first-place winner, Northwestern High School SADD of Springfield, OH, received $2,500 from NRSF and third-place winner, Crisfield Academy & High School SADD of Crisfield, Md., won a $500 grant award.
“We are excited to support SADD’s work and mission of empowering young people to promote positive decision-making, especially involving driving,” said Michelle Anderson, Director of Operations for The National Road Safety Foundation. “This latest campaign aligns perfectly with our goals of preventing teen injuries and deaths on America’s roadways. We look forward to continuing this strong partnership with SADD and offering more young people opportunities to better inform their peers about safe driving.”
About The National Road Safety Foundation