The California Highway Patrol announced that it received a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety to help promote safe driving behaviors for teens.
The Teen Distracted Driving II grant announcement coincides with National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct 16-22. The number one killer of teens in America is car crashes. Using cell phones, eating, drinking, changing the music, or simply talking with friends are all activities teens engage in every day, but these activities become life-threatening hazards while driving. Distracted or inattentive driving presents a significant danger to all motorists.
The grant-funded Teen Distracted Driving campaign consists of an education component that will allow for CHP officers and traffic safety partners to make appearances at schools and community events throughout the state. Distracted driving enforcement operations will be conducted during National Teen Driver Safety Week in October and National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there are nearly 792,970 licensed teenage drivers in California, which increased by six percent since last year. Data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System indicated that in 2020 there were 6,644 fatal and injury crashes involving teen drivers between 15 and 19 years of age. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crashes.
“The combination of inattention and inexperience behind the wheel can lead to tragedy,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “This grant will assist our officers in keeping California’s roads safe, while addressing California’s distracted driving crisis among the state’s teens.”
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.