Schools and youth groups launch statewide campaign to encourage teen safe driving

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More teenage drivers in Virginia will be involved in traffic accidents between the months of May and August than at any other time of the year.

To help save lives and prevent accidents during the high-risk warm months, schools in Virginia are launching a statewide teen safety campaign this week to establish safe driving and behaviors for teens. safe passengers.

The campaign, “Arrive Alive”, focuses on the increased risk of traffic accidents among teens during the spring and summer months and during prom and graduation.

Thirty-six high school, middle school and youth groups are taking part in Arrive Alive, which runs until May 6. During the campaign, students will work in peer groups to develop programs and social media messages that influence their peers to be safer on Virginia roads.

Secondary students will focus on preventing risky driver and passenger behaviors such as texting and driving, speeding, driving with too many passengers, not wearing seat belts, underage drink driving and happy driving or “cruising”. Middle school students will focus their campaign on how to be a safe passenger, pedestrian and cyclist. Middle and high school students are encouraged to submit plans to continue promoting the campaign throughout the summer to reach students during the holidays.

“YOVASO encourages all schools, youth groups, parents and teens to join the Arrive Alive campaign and help save lives during this critical time for our young people,” said Mary King, YOVASO Program Manager. “A simple reminder to buckle up, a safety talk with your teen, a message to slow down, or a teen encouraging a friend to drive safely can make a difference and save a life,” King pointed out. Please use and share the Arrive Alive resources and continue to spread this important message to teens in your school and community throughout the summer.”

In the three-year period from 2017 to 2020, teenage drivers in Virginia were involved in 31,517 crashes during the months of May through August, with 118 of those crashes resulting in the death of themselves or other motorists and passengers. During the same three-year period, 97 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 20 were killed, 10,414 were injured and 1,291 were seriously injured in crashes between May and August.

Throughout Arrive Alive, participating high school students and youth groups will develop a creative project designed to influence change in risky driving behaviors and attitudes among their peers. Additionally, they will run pre- and post-seatbelt audits to measure the campaign’s impact on increasing seatbelt use among students. Other activities will include wrecked car shows, mock crashes, pledge signing events, hosting safety rallies, and other creative messages and programs.

High school students will complete similar activities and focus their creative project on good passenger and pedestrian safety habits, including wearing seat belts, wearing bicycle helmets, and how to be safe when riding. walking and cycling in the neighborhoods.

Arrive Alive is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) and the Virginia State Police, and is funded by a grant from the Virginia DMV. In addition, grants from State Farm will support prizes and incentives and educational materials.

For more information or to register your school or youth group for the Arrive Alive campaign, contact Mary King, Program Manager at (804) 461-0396 or visit the campaign page. YOVASO is Virginia’s peer-to-peer education and prevention program for teen driver and passenger safety and is a program of the Virginia State Police. Schools, organizations or youth groups can continue to register for the campaign and order materials throughout the spring and summer.

The campaign and resources are free to all schools, organizations and youth groups to remind teens and young people to slow down, buckle up and arrive safely at their destination during this high-risk time. . YOVASO membership is also free and open to all high schools, colleges, and youth groups in Virginia. YOVASO currently has 90 active member schools.

Here are some tips to help keep teen drivers safe during the high-risk warm months:

  • Buckle up at all times and in all seated positions.
  • Slow down and obey posted speed limits.
  • Limit the number of teenage passengers in the vehicle and follow Virginia’s Passenger Limitation Law for Teenagers. Remember that teenagers under the age of 18 are only allowed to carry one passenger under the age of 21 during the first year of registration, unless they are accompanied by a licensed adult. a licence.
  • Drive without distraction. It is illegal in Virginia to use a hand-held device while driving.
  • Drive without alcohol or drugs. Virginia’s zero tolerance law makes drinking or driving under the influence of any amount of alcohol a serious criminal offense for teenagers under 21. (Go. Code 18.2-266.1)
  • Avoid “cruises” and rides with friends. This leads to an increased risk of accidents among teenagers.
  • Obey Virginia’s midnight curfew that prohibits teens under 18 from driving between midnight and 4 a.m.
  • Never drive drowsy. Never drive if you are sleepy or taking medication that causes drowsiness.
  • Celebrate responsibly during prom, graduation and summer celebrations. Pledge to be safe and to arrive alive.

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