Leading Youth Health and Safety Organizations Team Up to Save Lives
Crisfield, Maryland (May 5, 2014) – Youth leaders from Crisfield Academy & High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter capture third place in a nationwide driving skills contest, #DrivingSkills101@UrTurn, and win $500 to support their local prevention programs. This unique contest focused on teen safe driving and was sponsored by SADD and The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF). Crisfield youth joined other SADD students across the country that provided their classmates and community members with an awareness program about driving proficiency.
“Car crashes are the number one killer of teens and our young drivers are involved in fatal crashes at three times the rate of older drivers,” stated Penny Wells, SADD President and CEO. “Many crashes are due purely to teens’ inexperience. 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,” added Wells.
The contest’s goals were tri-fold with a focus on gaining school involvement, media engagement and community interaction. Each participating school across the country was afforded the opportunity to determine which aspect of driving proficiency they wanted to tackle. Topics included blind spots, intersections, left turns, lane changes, merging into traffic, speeding, driving distance and tailgating.
“Seven teens ages 16 to 19 die every day in motor vehicle crashes,” remarked Jesse Drewer, Crisfield Academy & High School SADD chapter president. “Our Shut Down and Strap On program provided information and facts about texting and seat belt usage to better prepare our young drivers and decrease these alarming numbers.”
Shut Down and Strap On was a two-part educational awareness campaign which reached young people, school staff and parents. A school-wide flier design contest was held, and the Crisfield Police Department served as judges, recommending three poster designs. Each poster identified facts about texting while driving and seat belt safety on one side with a graphic design on the reverse. CPD personnel and SADD students conducted an on-campus seatbelt compliance check next, issuing educational pamphlets and contest fliers to all parties. In the second phase of the program, the SADD chapter sponsored a coloring contest for three age groups: 3-5, 6-9 and 10-12 graders. Campaign details were promoted through local print and social media platforms with the goal of promoting positive decision-making and saving lives.
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. First-place winner, Northwestern High School SADD of Springfield, Ohio, received $2,500 from the Foundation and second-place winner, Allegheny Teen Safe Driving Committee of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a $1,500 grant award.
“We are excited to support SADD’s work and mission of empowering young people to promote positive decision-making, especially while driving,” stated Michelle Anderson, Director of Operations for The National Road Safety Foundation. “This latest campaign aligned 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.”
The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization that for more than 50 years has been dedicated to reducing crashes, deaths and injuries on our nation’s highways by promoting safe driving habits through greater public awareness.
NRSF produces documentaries, educational programs and public service campaigns for broadcast and for use in safety, educational and enforcement programs. NRSF offers its material free of charge. The Foundation also works with key youth advocacy groups and sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit www.nrsf.org or www.teenlane.org.