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school resources and programs

From professional speakers to curriculums to contests, PennDOT and its partners offer a variety of resources for educators to help increase students' awareness of highway safety.


Safe Routes to school

Safe Routes to School enables and encourages all students to walk or bicycle to school including students with disabilities. To learn more, click here.


buckle up in pa school programs

PennDOT is encouraging schools to take advantage of free educational programs offered through its highway safety network.

PennDOT funds the efforts and works closely with its highway safety partners to conduct three educational seat belt programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The free programs are available throughout the school year and are presented by one of the more than 1,500 municipal police officers and State Police troopers specially trained in the curriculum.

"The Back Is Where It's At" program is appropriate for kindergarten through fifth-grade students and focuses on keeping young children in the back seat, in booster seats, and in seat belts. Children should never be in the front seat where they can be injured by air bags. To ensure a more personalized and interactive experience, this program is designed for small groups.

"Survival 101," which includes a high-impact, multimedia component, is geared toward grades 6-12 and emphasizes the importance of making good decisions as passengers and new drivers. During the hard-hitting program, officers share with students the details of their experience with crashes involving teenage drivers and passengers.

The third program, "16 Minutes," is designed for students in grades 9-10 and serves as a supplement to Survival 101. Presented in one-on-one or small group meetings with a police officer, the program should be offered during the month the student turns 16. During the meeting, students and the officer will discuss highway safety issues relevant to teen drivers such as inexperience and driver distraction. In addition, impaired driving, aggressive driving and seat belt use also will be addressed.

To schedule any of the above programs, please contact Buckle Up PA at 570-628-2414.


high school safe driving competitions

Parents and driver education teachers have a great responsibility when it comes to teaching teens the skills and information they need to get behind the wheel as independent drivers.

To recognize the end result of these efforts, students who are considered to be among the best drivers at their schools are put through a series of written, perceptual and driving tests at Safe Driving competitions held on a regional level, with the opportunity to move forward to the statewide contest.

PennDOT partners with the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA), law enforcement and other safety-related organizations to host the Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth every May at the Radisson Penn Harris in Camp Hill.

PMTA sponsors scholarships for the top three finishers in the statewide competition. The first-place winner receives $5,000, while second and third place receive $3,000 and $2,000, respectively.


impaired driving programs

Safety Bug

The PA DUI Safety Bug has been custom engineered to demonstrate the loss of control one would experience if operating a motor vehicle while in an impaired state. The key difference is that it's the car — not the driver — who is "drunk."

A trained mentor in the front passenger seat controls settings that cause the vehicle's steering to lose its finesse and prompt the braking mechanisms to become unpredictable. The result is an unsettling episode for the teen in the driver seat who gains a firsthand glimpse of what it feels like to drive under the influence.

For more information, visit the DUI Association Website.


Safety SIMulator

New drivers are often uncertain of their driving abilities, but the Safety SIMulator is one way to gain additional experience. The SIMulator also lets you drive safely under many diverse and adverse conditions, including snow, fog and heavy traffic. It allows you to feel firsthand how alcohol impairs your ability to steer and brake, and also shows the danger to you when other drivers are impaired.

For more information, visit the DUI Association Website.