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Driving Skills for Life News Release

February 27, 2008

Contacts: Wes Sherwood
Safety Communications
Ford Motor Company
Andrew Sieloff
Driving Skills for Life
Ford Motor Company Fund
Kate Dennis
Driving Skills for Life
PCG Campbell

Ford and Governors Highway Safety Association Launch Safe Driving Program for Dearborn Teens

DEARBORN, Mich.—In an effort designed to reduce teen crashes and fatalities in Michigan, Ford Motor Company Fund (Ford Fund) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), are asking Dearborn high school teens to promote safety to their peers as part of the national, award-winning Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program. The schools will compete against each other to create the most creative and effective safe driving public service announcement (PSA), posters and all school assembly.

"The Driving Skills for Life program exemplifies a commitment to safety, not only by Ford Motor Company, but by an entire community," said Jim Graham, community relations manager of Ford Motor Company Fund. “This type of competition, along with the many additional Driving Skills for Life components, has made a significant impact on teen safety, and we strongly believe it’s the best and most complete teen driver safety program available.”

The DSFL competition combines fun with the spirit of competition, and a serious focus on driver safety as Dearborn High, Fordson and Edsel Ford high schools compete to see which school will be named the overall winner. Schools are required to use the DSFL curriculum as a basis for the competition components. The competition is a team-building exercise that fosters creativity and teamwork, while at the same time providing real life work experience and driver safety education to all involved.

The program, also sponsored by Westfield Insurance and in cooperation with the City of Dearborn, Dearborn Public Schools, Dearborn Police Department and the American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee begins today and continues through March 31.

Each team will receive a budget of $2,000 provided by Ford Motor Company Fund to implement their projects. In early April, a panel consisting of representatives from Ford Fund, GHSA, Westfield Insurance, Dearborn Community Officials, Dearborn Police Department and American-Arab Anti-discrimination Committee will judge each school presentation. Selection of the “winning” school will be based on creativity, effectiveness and strength of the PSA, poster and assembly. All Dearborn public high schools will be awarded additional monetary funds, based on a first through third place prize structure, to continue teen driver safety activities at their schools.

According to Michael Prince, Director of the Office of Highway Safety Planning and Michigan’s GHSA representative, “We are glad that Driving Skills for Life is continuing to play a major role in improving teen driving skills. It’s a pleasure to support innovative programs to reach our teens and that assist with reducing teen fatalities.”

“The City of Dearborn is proud to support this effort, which will make our roads safer and equip young drivers with the practical training they need," Said Dearborn Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr., "We’re grateful to Ford Motor Company for looking out for teenage drivers, and for all the community partners involved in this initiative.”

Jim Clay, President of Westfield Insurance adds, "Safe driving is everyone's responsibility. We see a growing need for collaboration between parents, law enforcement, advocacy organizations and corporate partners. We're proud to be a part of this diverse program for young drivers."

In addition to cash prizes, the program will conclude with teens from each of the competing schools participating in one of four half-day sessions at a Driving Skills for Life hands-on training event at Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Development Center on April 10 or 11.  Students will hone their skills in specially equipped vehicles on challenging driving courses while under the supervision of a team of professional instructors from across the United States. The focus will be on improving skills that are factors in 60 percent of teen vehicles crashes: Hazard Recognition, Vehicle Handling, Speed Management and Space Management.

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About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford does business. Established in 1949 and made possible by Ford Motor Company profits, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative.  The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, salaried employees, union members, retirees and their families participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit

For more information regarding the Driving Skills for Life program, please visit

For more information regarding Westfield Insurance, please visit

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)® is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit