Thursday, July 18, 2024

Schools and Youth Groups Kick Off Statewide Initiative to Encourage Safe Teen Driving

2022 Second Place, Poquoson High School Crash Scene (Photo provided by YOVASO)

SALEM —  To help save lives and prevent collisions during the high-risk warm weather months, Virginia schools are kicking off a statewide teen safety campaign to develop driver and passenger safety behaviors among youth and teens.

The peer-to-peer campaign, “Arrive Alive — It’s a Whole Vibe,” focuses on the increased risk of teen driver crashes during spring and summer, prom, and graduation.

More teen drivers in Virginia will be involved in traffic crashes between the months of May and August than any other time of the year, statistics show.

According to preliminary data from the Highway Safety Office, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), for 2022, 5,917 crashes involved a teen driver during the spring/summer months from May through August. Additionally, 21 teens aged 15-19 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, 1,914 were injured, and 237 were seriously injured in crashes between the months of May and August.  

Fifty high schools, middle schools, and youth groups are participating in “Arrive Alive,” which is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) and the Virginia State Police.

Poquoson High School earned second place in the statewide 2022 YOVASO “Drive for Change: Buckle Up and Slow Down” campaign.

Participating schools and youth groups will take part from March through May by completing activities that educate and remind teens to buckle up, drive safely, and celebrate prom, graduation, and other fun events without drugs and alcohol. Middle school students will focus their messaging on being safe passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

There are two options for participating: non-competing and competing. Schools and youth groups that elect to compete will be required to complete pre and post-seat belt checks and a creative project that reaches a majority of the students at their school or in their youth group. Non-competing schools may register to receive materials and complete any activities of their choice.

“We encourage all schools, youth groups, parents, and teens to join the free Arrive Alive campaign and help keep our youth safe during these upcoming high-risk months,” said Mary King, YOVASO program manager. “No teen wants to ruin a fun vibe, whether it be a party, a day at the lake, or a night out with close friends, by experiencing a crash. Through Arrive Alive, we can all work together as parents, schools, and communities to do our part in making sure our teens buckle up, drive the speed limit, put away distractions, and avoid alcohol and drugs every time they get in a motor vehicle.”

For more information or to register your school or youth group for the “Arrive Alive” campaign or to request parent resources, contact Casey Taylor, Program Development Coordinator at 540-739-4392 or visit the campaign page.

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