Maryland to Receive Grant for Teen Safe Driving Initiatives

Maryland to Receive Grant for Teen Safe Driving Initiatives

(March 18, 2008) The Maryland State Highway Administration's Highway Safety Office (MHSO) announced today that Maryland will be named as one of eleven state highway safety agencies to receive national grants to further develop teen driver safety programs. The grants from the Ford Motor Company Fund are part of the company's Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) program, designed in partnership with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to increase awareness of the hazards of teen driving and teach the critical skills that young drivers need to respond to the demands of the road.
"Safe teen driving is a shared responsibility; we all have a part to play in keeping our newest drivers safe on the road. These grant funds are most welcome and will help us continue to reach parents and their young drivers with critical safety messages," said State Highway Administrator and Governor's Highway Safety Representative Neil J. Pedersen. "Maryland will use these funds to help educate teen drivers on safe driving strategies -- practical information that new drivers can use to prevent crashes. We will also target high risk behaviors and work to increase safety belt use."
As part of a total of more than $200,000 in grants being awarded to nine States, including Maryland, as well as two U.S. territories, Maryland will receive $20,000. The grant award to help develop Maryland's teen driving initiatives will total $20,000 and marks the first time a private sector company has given state highway safety agencies grants for teen driver safety programs.
According to GHSA Chairman Christopher J. Murphy, "Highway safety offices are delighted to receive these grants. Funding for driver education efforts is extremely limited, so this unique private sector support is most welcome. These funds will help us educate parents and teens about safe driving practices while also reminding them of graduated licensing laws."
The DSFL grants were made available to highway safety offices through an online application process. Each of the highway safety offices receiving grants has designed a comprehensive outreach program for their students. Maryland's DSFL grant was awarded based on a description of need, how teen drivers here will benefit, program goals and objectives, media outreach, metrics and implementation plan. Other highway safety offices selected to receive the grants include:
Arizona Georgia
Vermont Tennessee
Wisconsin Northern Mariana Islands
Florida U.S. Virgin Islands
New Mexico Oregon
DSFL is one of the nation's most comprehensive teen driver safety awareness programs. Core program components include an educator packet, hands-on drivers' training events held across the country and an interactive website (www.drivingskillsforlife.com) that contains a learning module, car care and safe driving tip videos, safe driving games, an eco-driving module and resource materials for parents and educators.
"Ford is committed to vehicle safety and educating the public about key issues such as teen driver safety," said Jim Graham, community relations manager for Ford Fund, who directs the program. "Our unique partnership with GHSA allows us to work closely with highway safety offices in the states and U.S. territories in bringing this initiative to communities across the country."
More information about Driving Skills for Life is available at www.drivingskillsforlife.com.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy and enhance program management. Its members are appointed by their governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org.
To obtain more information about Maryland's DSFL program, please contact Peter Moe, Young Driver Program Coordinator, Maryland Highway Safety Office at 410-787-4096 or email at pmoe@sha.state.md.us.