Idaho high school participates in national youth safety program

Brent Jennings, P.E.
Highway Safety Manager

Congratulations go out to Mountain View High School in Meridian for being invited by the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS), and selected as one of seven teams selected from across the nation to host youth-led teen driver safety rallies for the “Safest Summer Ever.”

Summer 2010 was the deadliest season for U.S. youth with July as the most devastating month where we lost 364 youth ages 15-20 in traffic crashes. In 2010, eight of the top ten of the deadliest days for youth on our highways occurred between the months of May through September. These statistics are devastating as well as eye opening. Teen motor vehicle crashes is an epidemic that needs to be addressed and youth activism is a large part of the solution.

To encourage youth to gather together and encourage their peers to be safe on the roads this summer, NOYS developed a program called Act Out Loud for the Safest Summer Ever school rally program.

NOYS invited seven high school teams to host youth-led teen driver safety rallies on May 8, 2012 that included activities to encourage peers to have the safest summer ever in support of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month. The biggest call-to-action included a pledge activity with youth signing pledge links. Each link would represent a student’s pledge and commitment to promote safe teen driving.

Teams creatively displayed the links to showcase long chains that were wrapped around classrooms, schools, or community structures. Each high school team received $500 and a Safest Summer Ever toolkit to assist them in creating additional activities to get fellow students to attend, participate, and engage in the safe teen driving message.

The seven schools that were chosen to particpate in the program inlcuded the following:

1. Tustin High School, Tustin, CA
2. Mountain View High School, Meridian, ID
3. Harry D. Jacobs High School, Algonquin, IL
4. Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville, MD
5. West Johnston High School, Benson, NC
6. Roy C. Ketcham High School, Wappingers Falls, NY
7. Dubiski Career High School, Grand Prairie, TX

The school rally program was deemed successful in terms of student and community involvement, media hits, pledges signed, and overall feedback from the teams. Approximately 10,000 students, advisors and faculty, and community members were reached during all of the rallies, and approximately 7,000 pledges were signed. Many more youth and adults were reached through videos, press releases, and media attention received at the rallies. NOYS is proud of the accomplishments achieved by these schools during this test pilot year and looks forward to growing the program for 2013 Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.

Summary of Event
550 students participated in the Mountain View High School rally. Inspiration to participate in this school rally program came as a result of a recent traffic crash that killed and injured several students. The mayor of the city and the Deputy Chief of the Meridian Police Department attended the rally as keynote speakers.

Rally leaders students pizza and soda to students that participated as a motivator to attend the rally. They also had an officer that provided music and DJ’d for the students along with the various safety tips that they wanted to share with the students. Activities included stations for officers to use the fatal vision goggles to demonstrate the visual impairment of alcohol on the body, free give-a-ways, and signing pledges for the Safest Summer Ever.

They created an environment that was fun for students to hang out, listen to music, eat a little food, and share traffic safety messages. Mountain View High School was very appreciative to have been offered this opportunity to be a partner with National Organizations for Youth Safety and the Meridian Police Department and bring safe teen driving messages to the students and their community.

Congratulations Mountain View High School and job well done!

Published 8-24-2012