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The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award

The Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Awards recognize notable achievements in the field of highway safety during the prior calendar year by individuals, coalitions, organizations, nonprofit groups, businesses, government agencies, universities or programs. About Peter K. O'Rourke

2006 Winner: RADD Youth Coalition

GHSA Highway Safety Awards

RADD Youth Coalition

The RADD Youth Coalition was formed in 2004 to bring together diverse partners and develop widespread dissemination of the award-winning HBO Family documentary SMASHED: Toxic Tales of Teens and Alcohol. Distributed among teens, high schools, families and communities, this media tool was used by RADD to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking and alcohol-related driving. Its intent was to stimulate community dialogue on how best to prevent such drinking and driving and to encourage subsequent local action using evidence-based interventions.

In addition to the videos, the RADD Youth Coalition's Community Kit addresses youth-oriented and community interventions recommended by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

This program mobilizes communities to reduce underage drinking through collaboration with public and private funders. Like the 2003 IOM report on underage drinking, the SMASHED tool's critical message was that successful underage drinking prevention outreach must engage three key groups - parents, the entertainment industry and the media.

The program had three accomplishments including active collaboration, entertainment industry leadership and broad distribution. Participation by many diverse entities allowed the Coalition to deliver a useful prevention tool with accompanying curriculum at no cost to the target audience. HBO and RADD's Board donated use of the award-winning documentary and then recruited donations from many entertainment industry sources to underwrite the first round of manufacturing. Kit distribution was widespread among the target audience due to the mailing lists provided by teen-membership organizations.

Multiple evaluations of the kit are still ongoing but the demand for the video and kit has been increasing. An evaluation of screenings at five high schools in Colorado in conjunction with the BACCHUS Network peer mentorship program and the Colorado Department of Transportation showed strong results. The evaluations demonstrated that the screenings resulted in a raised consciousness about the dangers of underage drinking and alcohol related driving. They also increased willingness for parents to talk with their teenagers about these issues and teenagers to avoid the situation and intervene with friends who drink and drive.

For more information, contact Erin Meluso, President of RADD, at radd1@aol.com or (818) 752-7799.