IDOT, partners kick off Operation Teen Safe Driving program

By WEEK Reporter

Joe Grow, 15, of Peoria Heights stay calm during his driving lesson.

August 10, 2012 Updated Aug 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) officials were joined Friday by representatives from the Ford Motor Company Fund, The Allstate Foundation, the Illinois Secretary of State and state police to kick-off the sixth year of Operation Teen Safe Driving (OTSD) at the state fairgrounds.

IDOT says the program is the first of its kind in the United States and has contributed to a 48 percent decline in teen fatalities over the past five years.

"OTSD has proven to be a unique and impactful pubic-private partnership that utilizes the creativity of Illinois students to further boost traffic safety in schools and communities across the state," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider.

In the program, Illinois high schools apply for a grant to initiate a peer-led teen safe driving program within their schools. 

The schools compete with other schools in their region for one of five winning spots.  The winners receive money to use toward their post-prom event, and are invited to participate in Ford Motor Company Fund's Driving Skills for Life Ride and Drive events.

Applications are available at www.teensafedrivingillinois.org and are due October 1 for the 2012-2013 school year.

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