November 23, 2010 > Grant funding to prevent teen drinking and driving
Grant funding to prevent teen drinking and driving
Submitted By Susan Lowery
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) has awarded the Santa Clara County Public Health Department Traffic Safe Communities Network (TSCN) a grant of more than $230,000. The monies are to be used to prevent car accidents, fatalities and injuries caused by teens that drink and drive.
Traffic accidents are the leading cause of injuries and deaths for teens and alcohol is one of the primary causes of these collisions. In 2008, the OTS reported 118 collisions in Santa Clara County involving drivers under age 21 who had been drinking. The crashes resulted in 111 injuries and three deaths. Alcohol-related crashes cause more fatalities than any other type of collision.
The funding will continue TSCN's teen traffic safety projects, including real Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Courts in Schools, and panel presentations for parents and youths about alcohol consumption, alcohol's affects on teen brain development and parents' responsibilities in serving alcohol to minors. These free services are available on a limited basis to high schools in the County.
Additionally, TSCN will work intensively with one local school to implement a project to educate young people so they make informed decisions about drinking and driving and accepting a ride.
"The first years of a new driver's experience set the stage for a lifetime of driving," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. "This program will help young drivers in Santa Clara County survive those critical first years, when crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths, and on into the future."
For more information about TSCN visit www.sccphd.org/traffic or call (408) 793-2730.