NEW GRANT TO FUND TRAFFIC SAFETY ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTH
Santa Clara County, CA. Santa Clara County has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety to be used to coordinate youth-focused educational activities. The county’s Traffic Safe Communities Network (TSCN) will provide services that will increase traffic safety awareness among students in pre-school through high school. The focus for young children will be on bicycle and helmet safety, while high school teens will learn about impaired driving prevention.
Very young children will be educated about why they need to wear helmets. ”A properly-fitted helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 85%. TSCN’s activities will reinforce the importance of wearing a helmet and making it routine every time a young person rides a bike, skateboard, scooter, or skates,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer and TSCN Co-Chair.
Slightly older children will be educated about traffic safety through the ‘Juvenile Traffic Diversion’ program, which is similar to traffic school for kids and is designed for youth who are cited for non-motor vehicle violations. The program is a joint effort between law enforcement and public health. Additional educational efforts include bike rodeos and distribution of helmets at community events.
TSCN’s high school activities aim to prevent crashes caused by impaired teen drivers. Activities will kick-off with an impaired driving prevention video contest and continue throughout the year with classroom presentations, school assemblies, and an opportunity for students to see real driving under the influence (DUI) sentencings.
“Car crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 to 20-year olds,” said County Supervisor and TSCN Co-Chair Mike Wasserman. “Inexperience behind the wheel combined with the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a common cause of serious and fatal crashes, which is why education is so crucial.”
TSCN is a countywide coalition of health professionals, law enforcement officers, injury prevention specialists, elected officials, engineers, emergency medical responders, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, community organizations, and other traffic safety professionals. For information about TSCN visit www.sccphd.org
or call (408) 793-2700. Information about teen traffic safety can be found at www.facebook.com/TSCNYouth