The Safety Street Q&A series features NCSR partners, industry leaders and other notable transportation organizations who are working towards the collaborative goal of safer roads.
Safety Street is pleased to kick off the Q&A series with a focus on teen driving safety. A recent study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association revealed that the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles increased dramatically for the first six months of 2012. Teen driving safety is a crucial platform for all road safety advocates. One of NCSR’s partner organizations – National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) – has created multiple focus areas when it comes to traffic safety and our nation’s youth. Safety Street recently had a chance to learn what NOYS is doing in 2013 for youth traffic safety, specifically discussing their upcoming Act Out Loud contest. Here’s what Julie Kettner, National Campaign Manager had to say:
Safety Street: The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) has been a long time partner of NCSR when it comes to traffic safety for youth, but your organization has a hand in many things. What are the core platforms NOYS focuses on?
National Organizations for Youth Safety: We are a collaboration of over 70 national, youth-serving organizations, including non-profit organizations, business and industry leaders, and government agencies, with the common goal of promoting safe and healthy behaviors among our nation’s youth.
Our main platform is youth traffic safety, which is the focus of our largest campaign – Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™. NOYS and its members also focus on health and wellness, injury prevention, substance abuse prevention, and violence prevention in addition to our work on youth traffic safety.
Safety Street: May is a big month for NOYS. Can you tell us what Global Youth Traffic Safety Month (GYTSM) entails?
NOYS: Each May youth across the country unite during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month™ to focus on the leading cause of death for them and their peers; traffic related crashes. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month empowers youth to develop and lead traffic safety education projects and support law enforcement and effect legislation to protect teen drivers. This year there are several ways to get involved and support Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.
Global Launch Event on May 8 – Launch rallies will be hosted around the globe! The U.S. Global Youth Traffic Safety Month anchor rally will be in Washington, DC with events that start with a bike rally, lead on then to a rally at the Washington Monument, then a walk ‘n roll to NTSB building for a Youth Traffic Safety open house that will satellite feed in four other rallies going on around the country.
Act Out Loud® is a youth-led contest that was developed to engage and empower youth to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in our nation’s high schools. The 2013 Act Out Loud contest will engage over 300 high schools across the country hosting a youth-led Act Out Loud rally to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in their schools and communities. More information can be found at www.ActOutLoud.org.
The Long Short Walk ‘n Roll is new for 2013. In support of the Global Road Safety Week 2013 and the Decade of Action for Road Safety, the Zenani Mandela Campaign (in memory of Nelson Mandela’s great-granddaughter who lost her life in a crash) has launched the ‘Long Short Walk’ for safer, healthier, greener mobility. Youth are participating in this effort to encourage walking and biking, which is good for safety, for health, and for the environment.
Project Yellow Light is a scholarship competition designed to bring about change. Applicants submit a video designed to motivate, persuade and encourage teens to not text while driving. The first place winner will receive a scholarship in the amount of $5,000. Second-place finisher will receive $2,000. Third-place finisher will receive $1,000.
Recognize a youth health and safety leader – NOYS youth are presenting the annual NOYS Youth Choice Awards as part of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month 2013 in May. These awards are to honor non-profits, business and industry leaders, and legislative leaders who have done great work in the area of youth traffic safety. Visit www.noys.org for more information.
Safety Street: In the lead up to GYTSM, you are also encouraging students to participate in the Act Out Loud contest. What is this contest and how can students get involved?
NOYS: Act Out Loud® is a youth-led contest that was developed to engage and empower youth to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in our nation’s high schools. The 2013 Act Out Loud contest will engage over 300 high schools across the country hosting a youth-led Act Out Loud rally to promote Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in their schools and communities. More information can be found at www.ActOutLoud.org.
Students can get involved by visiting www.ActOutLoud.org and registering to host a rally in April or May at their schools or in their communities. The grand prize is $10,000 with another $10,000 in runner-up awards. Teams receive a FREE toolkit full of giveaways to hand out at their rallies and if they are registered by March 4, they will also receive $550 towards their rallies.
Safety Street: Beyond GYTSM, what other programs does NOYS participate in to raise awareness about traffic safety among our nation’s youth?
NOYS: Every year, we host a Teen Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC where youth and adult leaders from across the country meet to discuss prevention strategies and solutions to address distracted driving at the local, state and national level. This past year, over 100 high school students attended the event. They brought the knowledge they gained from the Summit home with them where they are planning individual community summits on distracted driving in their hometowns. The 2013 Distracted Driving Summit will take place in October. More information on the Summit will be posted on www.noys.org as we come closer to the date of the event.
UnderYOURInfluence is a resource created by NOYS for parents of teen drivers. By visiting www.underyourinfluence.org, you will discover teen safe driving resources, including, state driving laws, parent-teen driver contracts, a parent’s perspective blog and archived monthly newsletters.
NOYS is excited to announce two new programs that will be available to all youth soon!
Making NOYS for Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety will be available this summer and includes the inclusion of pedestrian and bicycle safety resources into existing NOYS programs and recognizing youth who show leadership in pedestrian and bicycle safety efforts in their community. Be on the lookout for these resources on www.noys.org in Summer 2013.
Engaging Youth Leaders and Parents in Fighting Against Underage Drinking will launch full force for the 2014-2015 school year! This program gives youth leaders the opportunity to bring their community together to focus on the issue of underage drinking. Youth will host an event to bring together law enforcement, school officials, experts, adults and their peers to bring attention and open discussion to what underage drinking looks like in their community.
Safety Street: As you know, NCSR’s main goal is to raise awareness about the dangers of red-light running. In your close work with students, do you feel like they recognize this as a serious issue? Is there any significant youth effort you know of that is focused on combating red-light running to promote better intersection safety?
NOYS: We’ve recently partnered with the Roadway Safety Foundation and American Traffic Safety Services Association Foundation on a pilot project called TeenRSA™. We have piloted this program in four high schools and hope to get funding to continue the program. Through this project, we go into the high schools and host a Teen Road Safety Assessment. The teens that have been involved in this project realize the dangers of red-light running, and this project gives the students a better understanding of intersection safety both as a pedestrian and a driver. We are currently seeking funds to help us launch this program on a national scale and provide train the trainers at events and meetings.
Safety Street: The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a study revealing that the number of 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths in passenger vehicles increased dramatically for the first six months of 2012. Do you plan to make this a focus in your upcoming awareness efforts with GYTSM?
NOYS: We will include this as part of outreach to the press in seeking assistance to help parents and educators understand these risks and help youth mitigate the dangers that is part of novice driving. We need to analyze possible cause and comparison to other drivers for this same time frame.
Safety Street: For anyone that wants to get more involved with NOYS, what resources do you have available and how do they begin?
NOYS: There are several ways to get involved with NOYS. Organizations and businesses can partner with NOYS for Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, become a NOYS member, and sponsor different events. To partner with NOYS for GYTSM, you can complete this form. Partnership is free and gives you an assortment of ways to get involved in teen traffic safety. If you are interested in becoming a member, you can find more information here. NOYS needs sponsors for different events, if this is something you might be interested in; you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in hosting an Act Out Loud rally, please contact email@example.com or register your team at www.ActOutLoud.org. Together we can all make NOYS for road safety for all!
The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior.