Pennsylvania K-12 Traffic Safety Educational Programs
Effective Presentations by Local Law Enforcement
Youth crashes, injuries and deaths continue to be a significant problem despite efforts to address this particularly difficult age group. Teenagers drive less than all except the older population, but their numbers of crashes, injuries and deaths are disproportionately high. Based on severity of crashes, the rate per mile driven among 16-19 year olds is 4 times greater than older drivers. Risk is highest at age 16. In fact, the crash rate per mile driven is twice as high among 16 year olds compared to 18-19 year olds. Youth drivers remain a PennDOT major focus area and must continue to be addressed in order to reduce the fatalities to one death per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
Buckle Up PA has involved the enforcement community to reach out to Pennsylvania’s Middle and High School students with the “Survival 101” program. For the past 5 years, “Survival 101” has reached thousands in this age group with a powerful seat belt enforcement message. We still, however, need to do more. The following project is a supplement to the “Survival 101” Curriculum.
Buckle Up PA has developed a unique intervention program that focuses on selected high risk behaviors that lead to youth crashes, injuries and deaths. “Sixteen Minutes of Your Life” or “Sixteen Minutes” involves a one on one or a small group meeting with a police officer, the month the student turns 16. This police intervention lasts for approximately 16 minutes. A discussion will include the following topics; impaired driving, youth inexperience, distractions such as the number of passengers, behind the wheel behavior, aggressive driving, and unbelted occupants. Consequences of sudden decision making will be discussed along with citation costs, fines and loss of license. “Click It or Ticket; Two Tickets, Two Fines” will be explained in full detail.
We believe this more personal and informal approach will benefit both the students and the officer. By encouraging open discussion, the police can obtain a wealth of knowledge from the young driver’s perspective for future programming or enforcement strategies. A program of this nature serves to strengthen the respect and rapport between the student and officer, particularly at this point of the young driver/passenger’s life.
Police officers are trained by Buckle Up PA Area LELs and provided with school contacts, materials and talking points along with a program of visual displays. Buckle Up PA maintain and report scheduled and completed programs in it’s monthly report. Programs will are coordinated through Community Traffic Safety Project Coordinators and PennDOT Safety Press Officers. Presentations are free and can be scheduled by calling 1 570-6282416 or filling out the contact form.
Sixteen Minutes is appropriate for students who are actively preparing to get their drivers’ licenses. The program introduces teens to law enforcement in an non-threatening, accessible way. This program should be used in a small group workshop setting in which the officer/presenter can have one-on-one interaction with each student. Pre- and post-event surveys and leave behinds can be used to reach students and their families.
Sixteen Minutes is completely free and is a public service from PennDOT, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Buckle Up Pennsylvania.
405 West Norwegian St.
Pottsville, PA 17901
Phone: (570) 628-2414
Fax: (570) 628-2419
Please contact Chris Lengle, educational coordinator, for general information about Sit Back! It’s Elementary, Survival 101 and 16 Minutes. Contact your Area LEL to schedule programs.
Phone: (610) 509-4252
Fax: (570) 628-2419
For media inquiries regarding Buckle Up Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Aggressive Driving Enforcement and Education Project or other programs, please contact the PennDOT Press Office at (717) 783-8800