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April 28, 2010

Contacts: Judd Templin (Ford Fund) (614)560-3399
Marisa Kollias (IDOT) (312)814-4693
Paris Ervin (IDOT) (217)558-0517
Jonathan Adkins
Governors Highway Safety Association

Award Winning, Hands-On Teen Driver Training Program Comes to Chicago

CHICAGO—In conjunction with Ford Motor Company Fund's Operation Goodwill Chicago, students from winning northern Illinois high schools in the statewide Operation Teen Safe Driving program will participate in the Ford Driving Skills for Life: Ride and Drive event on Thursday and Friday. The Illinois program is modeled on the nationally recognized Ford Motor Company Fund’s Ford Driving Skills for Life. "We are excited to bring back our award-winning teen safe driving hands-on programs to Chicago. Teen vehicle fatalities are down significantly here, and we are proud to have played a key role in that reduction," stated Jim Graham, Manager, Community Relations Ford Fund.

Throughout the two days, teens will drive specially equipped vehicles in simulated potentially dangerous driving conditions under the supervision of professional instructors. The goal is to improve their skills in four key areas: driver distraction and hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

This is the 3nd year of the Operation Teen Safe Driving program and the results are encouraging, with Illinois teen vehicle accident deaths decreasing by 49% since 2007.

Who: Michael Stout, Director, Division of Traffic Safety IDOT
Jim Graham, Manager of Community Relations, Ford Fund
Illinois State Police Representative

What: Students from winning Illinois schools will participate in a hands-on driving training event with professional drivers to sharpen their driving skills and help reduce the number of teen fatalities on Illinois roadways.

When: Thursday, April 29th, 10:00 AM (Press Conference)
*Media is also welcome to attend (and participate) any driving session listed below:
Driving session 1: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29th 2010
Driving session 2: 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29th 2010
Driving session 3: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, April 30th 2010
Driving session 4: 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 30th 2010

Where: US Cellular Field
Ride & Drive in parking lots A, B, and C
Chicago, IL

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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