May is National Youth Traffic Safety Month
May, 2013 by Stacey Biemiller Maisch
Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens in New Jersey. Studies show that fatalities from car crashes occur more frequently in the spring than in any other season. As a result, each spring brings with it a Youth Traffic Safety initiative.
Last year, New Jersey and many other states designated May as “National Youth Traffic Safety Month.” The NJ State Senate passed resolution SR52 as an attempt to reduce the tragic fatalities that take too many young lives. This effort brought awareness to the dangers of reckless driving and challenged teens nationwide to spread the message about traffic safety.
The National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) is partnering with dozens of national nonprofit organizations to promote the safety of our youth in America. While NOYS has been active in the US since its inception in 1994, this year, they are going global. There will be events, worldwide, to focus on teen driver safety. Beginning with the Teen Driving Safety Summit in Sykesville, MD on April 20, young drivers will be encouraged to implement Teen Driving Safety programs in their own communities.
The official kickoff of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month will be May 8, 2013 in Washington, DC at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. There will be a Youth Road Safety Rally followed by a “walk and roll” for road safety, sponsored by NOYS and mylongshortwalk.org. NOYS is also a driving force behind the Stop the Texts campaign, which discourages teen drivers from texting while driving.
While the Youth Traffic Safety Month initiative has now gone global, New Jersey residents can be especially proud of their local achievements. As part of the Act Out Loud contest, students were challenged to submit ideas for toolkits, posters and t-shirt designs that promote teen traffic safety.
The winning design for the SAFE-Tee Shirt contest came from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood, NJ team. Congratulations to our NJ youth who came up with this design!