FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2008
Contact: Jonathan Adkins
States Receive Landmark Awards For Teen Safe Driving
- Public and private sectors work together to engage communities in educating teen drivers
- States and U.S. territories to launch new teen driver safety programs
- More than 200 high schools will participate in safety awareness efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announced today that Ford Motor Company Fund will provide over $200,000 in grants to nine states and two U.S. territories as part of the Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program. DSFL is the national, award-winning, teen driving program developed in partnership between GHSA and Ford Motor Company Fund. This marks the first time a private sector company has given state highway safety agencies grants for teen driver safety programs. The move widens the impact of DSFL's mission to provide resources and education in an effort to supplement teen driver training programs nationwide.
Grants were made available to highway safety offices through an online application process. State highway safety offices selected to receive the grants are:
- New Mexico
- Northern Mariana Islands
- U.S. Virgin Islands
"Ford is committed to vehicle safety and educating the public about key issues such as teen driver safety," said Jim Graham, community relations manager for Ford Fund, who directs the program. "Our unique partnership with GHSA allows us to work closely with highway safety offices in the states and U.S. territories in bringing this initiative to communities across the country."
Grants were awarded based on a description of need, how teens will benefit, program goals and objectives, media outreach, metrics and implementation plan. Each highway safety office receiving a grant has designed a comprehensive outreach program for the students. While using the DSFL program as the framework, each state or territory will increase the awareness of the hazards of teen driving and teach the critical skills that youth need to respond to the demands of the road. Many of the skills are not being taught in driver education courses, so DSFL fills a critical need.
According to GHSA Chairman Christopher J. Murphy, "Highway safety offices are delighted to receive these grants. Funding for driver education efforts is extremely limited, so this unique private sector support is most welcome. These funds will help us educate parents and teens about safe driving practices while also reminding them of graduated licensing laws."
DSFL is one of the most comprehensive teen driver safety awareness programs in the nation. Core components of the program include an educator packet, hands-on drivers' training events held across the country and an interactive website (www.drivingskillsforlife.com) containing a learning module, car care and safe driving tip videos, safe driving games, an eco-driving module and resource materials for parents and educators. The Ford Fund and GHSA also conduct unique competitive in-school programs and work with local and state governments to implement programs unique to their specific needs.
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More information about Driving Skills for Life is available at www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
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 www.ghsa.org.