The has received a $10,000 grant to educate teens about distracted driving on a closed course and produce a video from the experience.
The grant, from the Allstate Foundation, was announced Wednesday night.
"This program will allow us to educate teenaged drivers by giving them an opportunity to see the effects of distracted driving first hand," a press release quoted Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner as saying. "Providing hands-on learning and an open discussion with police officers will give the participants a unique perspective that will help them understand the consequences of distracted driving."
The full press release follows:
City of Elk Grove receives $10,000 to educate teens about distracted driving
Elk Grove, CA – Tonight, the Allstate Foundation presented the City of Elk Grove with a $10,000 grant to educate teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving.
The grant will allow the Elk Grove Police Department to create a “3D: Distracted Driving Demonstration” program that will bring teens and law enforcement together in simulated demonstrations of driving while distracted. The police department will invite teens throughout the City of Elk Grove to take part in the distracted driving demonstrations on a closed course, driver’s training facility. Teens will be provided various driving scenarios while performing some other task such as, using a smart phone to text or talk, applying makeup, eating, reaching for items in the car, etc.
Each teen will have a certified driving instructor from the Elk Grove Police Department as a passenger to ensure they perform the tasks and to intervene if necessary to ensure safety, yet make the point of the exercise. The training will take place in a controlled environment and will take place at the same driving facility utilized by officers. The teenaged participants will be asked to answer a few questions before and after the demonstration to measure any change in their attitudes about distracted driving. The questionnaire will help to gauge how much of an impact the demonstration had on participants. A video documenting the participants’ efforts will be created and used as an educational tool.
“This program will allow us to educate teenaged drivers by giving them an opportunity to see the effects of distracted driving first hand,” said Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner. “Providing hands-on learning and an open discussion with police officers will give the participants a unique perspective that will help them understand the consequences of distracted driving.”
“More than 3,000 teens die every year as result of distracted driving—hundreds of thousands more are injured,” according to Freddy Santos of The Allstate Foundation in California. “Encouraging teens to develop the right driving attitudes now can lead to a lifetime of safety for families.”
The program will be held in conjunction with the Elk Grove Youth Commission and will begin later this year. Parents and students interested in participating should contact the Elk Grove Police Department Traffic Bureau at (916) 478-8148.