Picture of teen handling care keys with text overlay that reads Teen Driver Safety Week.

County Receives Funding for Youth Traffic Safety Education

Author: Behavioral Health Department
Date: 10/24/2018 5:31:11 PM

The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Department has been awarded a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for $55,000 for a year-long program of public awareness efforts to prevent traffic related deaths and injuries.

The grant will give local youth opportunities to lead projects that will actively engage their peers, family members and community members in reducing underage drinking and the issues that result from the behavior. The agency will use the funding to continue ongoing education efforts countywide and as a commitment to keep our roadways safe, improving the quality of life through both awareness and education.
The grant award announcement comes during National Teen Driver Safety Week, (Oct. 21-27), a time when the County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Prevention and Outreach and Friday Night Live will be hosting outreach and awareness campaigns at schools including Coast Union High School, Laguna Middle School, Paso Robles High School, and Cal Poly. The County of San Luis Obispo Behavioral Health Prevention and Outreach and Friday Night Live want to remind parents and guardians of the importance of talking to their teen drivers about new responsibilities and rules that come with operating a vehicle, along with the dangers of distracted, impaired and unsafe driving behaviors.
“For teens, getting a license is a rite of passage tied to freedom and independence, but is also something that can be dangerous because teens lack experience behind the wheel and are more likely to take risks,” said CHP Public Information Officer Mike Poelking. “This funding from OTS allows us to educate youth on the consequences of drinking and impaired driving, as well as instill good driving habits that help young drivers stay safe on the road.”
The reality is that vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 18. According to data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 73,736 crashes in 2016 involving drivers 16 to 20 years old in California alone. In those crashes, 437 people were killed.
To learn more about teen driver safety, visit the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) website at http://ghsa.org/html/issues/teens/index.html. (Feel free to push people to Friday Night Live and/or your website for additional resources related to traffic safety.)
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
 For more information please contact Contact:  Madison Kobliska / 805-781-4289 / [email protected]