Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration announced today a combined effort, led by PennDOT and supported by other state agencies and safety partners, to educate motorists on challenges facing teen drivers through a social media campaign during Teen Driver Safety Week.
The Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, along with the Pennsylvania DUI Association, Pennsylvania Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), and several school bus safety partners will join PennDOT in presenting information for and about teen drivers through Facebook posts and Facebook Live segments Monday through Friday next week. Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed October 15-21 as Teen Driver Safety Week in Pennsylvania to coincide with the national observance.
PennDOT data shows that from 2012 to 2016, there were 87,433 crashes involving at least one 16- to 19-year old driver in Pennsylvania, resulting in 592 fatalities. Over 71 percent of those crashes involved the teen driver driving too fast for conditions (32,466 crashes), driver inexperience (9,959), driver distraction (14,621) or improper/careless turning (13,255). There was a total of 62,413 crashes involving one or more of these teen driver factors.
"Parents, students and all drivers need to work together to help new drivers gain the valuable experience and knowledge to help make our highways safer for everyone," said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. "Social media offer us a platform to reach a wide range of audiences with this important safety message."
The awareness campaign starts Monday with a video message from Richards, reminding all drivers to share the road and recognize that it is Teen Driver Safety Week. Teen driver safety advocate Maria Goldman of SADD later shares her motivation behind championing safe driving efforts at her school.
On Tuesday, Shawn McGlinchey of Krapf Bus Company and two of his award-winning drivers will focus on challenges teen drivers face relative to bus stop awareness at schools and school bus stops during a Facebook Live segment from School Bus Safety Week recognition ceremonies at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg.
Wednesday starts with a Pennsylvania State Police Facebook Live segment. PSP representatives will discuss the importance of driver training in providing a sound basis for good driving habits with a driver’s education instructor, and how that training can help drivers avoid problems with law enforcement. Parents join in the discussion later in the day and express what they feel is important to remember as a teen driver or teen driver mentor.
Experienced drivers join the discussion on Thursday, sharing advice they would give a teen who is learning to drive. Teens then join the forum, sharing information on how they would like to be treated on the road and the challenges they face learning to drive.
The campaign wraps up Friday as the Pennsylvania Insurance Department hosts a Facebook Live segment, outlining questions and concerns from young drivers and their parents on insurance requirements. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department, in conjunction with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, developed a lesson for high school students, called Insurance 101 For Teen Drivers. The lesson is available for teachers at www.insurance.pa.gov, on the Auto Insurance page.
"This interactive lesson teaches new drivers and soon-to-be drivers the basics of auto insurance, and shows them how being careful behind the wheel is not only important for everyone’s safety, but can also save the students and their parents money on car insurance," said Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman.
Join us in this important conversation by using the hashtag #PATeenDriver. Like the Department on Facebook and Instagram. Follow PennDOT on Twitter.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Alexis Campbell, PennDOT, 717-787-0485
Cpl. Adam Reed, Pennsylvania State Police, 717-787-3159
Ron Ruman, Pennsylvania Insurance Department, 717-787-3289
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