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October 22, 2009

IDOT Secretary Announces Selection of Schools for 2009/2010 Operation Teen Safe Driving Program
Teen-Led Program Contributes to Drastic Reduction in Teen Fatalities Statewide

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig today announced the high schools selected to participate in the 2009-2010 Operation Teen Safe Driving program.  This statewide safety initiative is designed for teens to educate their peers about driving responsibly in an effort to decrease the number of fatalities and injuries involving teenagers in Illinois.  These announcements come during the National Teen Safe Drivers Week as Illinois records a decline in teen fatalities in automobile crashes this year.  From January 1through October 10, 2009, 60 teens (ages 16-19) lost their lives on Illinois roadways.  During the same time period last year, there were 67 teen deaths.

In total, 105 high schools statewide were selected to participate in this innovative program, which utilizes Ford Motor Company Fund’s nationally recognized Ford Driving Skills for Life program. The selected high schools are equally distributed in 7 regions across the state.

“We congratulate the schools selected to take part in this rewarding experience,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.  “We have confidence these students will go above and beyond to educate and inspire their peers to make better driving decisions in an effort to save lives in their communities and statewide.”

“Ford Driving Skills for Life is pleased to continue our support of this lifesaving program again for the third year. Teens are facing an increased number of hazards on the road, and it is imperative that resources are provided in aiding safe driving choices. The Ford Motor Company is committed to providing ongoing training to not only teens, but drivers of all ages," said Jim Graham, Manager, Community Relations.

Additional teen safe driving programs contributing to the reduction in teen motor vehicle fatalities include the latest sweeping changes to Illinois’ teen driving laws initiated by Secretary of State Jesse White.  Effective January 1, 2008, these changes gave Illinois one of the best graduated driver license program in the nation.  Graduated licensing gives teens more time to obtain valuable driving experience while under the watchful eye of a parent or guardian (doubling the practice time that young drivers must spend with a parent or guardian from 25 to 50 hours before the teen can obtain an Illinois driver’s license), limits in-car distractions and requires the teens to earn their way from one stage to the next by avoiding traffic convictions.  Leading national traffic safety experts have lauded Illinois’ graduated driver license program one that will save lives.

The selection process for the Operation Teen Safe Driving program requires students to identify issues relating to traffic safety in their community (i.e., underage drinking, driving unbuckled, impaired and distracted). Students are required to provide information explaining how they would combat the traffic safety problem and implement a teen awareness program in their school and community.

All of the selected schools will receive $2000 in grant funding from IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety and The Allstate Foundation. The selected schools develop and implement a peer-to-peer based program and present a report at the conclusion of the program. Winners are selected from each region and each winning school will receive prize money to host a post-prom party.

The top 5 schools from each region will be invited to send students to a “Driving Skills for Life, Ride and Drive” event which is sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund.  Students will observe professional drivers on two separate courses demonstrating critical driving skills. Teens will then have the opportunity to drive the same courses with the professional driver sitting in the passenger seat to provide tips and assistance.

“Saving lives and preventing injuries among teen drivers is a priority for The Allstate Foundation and our teen safe driving signature program.  We congratulate the winning schools and look forward to the great results from their campaigns,” said Linda Moynihan, Regional Sales Leader for the Midwest Region of Allstate Insurance.

“The strengthened graduated driver licensing (GDL) law that resulted from the recommendations of the Teen Driver Safety Task Force makes Illinois' teen driver program one of the strongest in the nation and, more importantly, is saving lives," said Secretary of State Jesse White.  “I am encouraged that teen driving deaths have dropped by over 50 percent since the law took effect in 2008.  This law, in conjunction with the Operation Teen Safe Driving initiative, is having the intended impact on teen driving safety.  My congratulations to the schools selected to participate in this important program.  Working together, we can save more lives and make Illinois roads safer for all of us.”

The Office of the Governor, the Illinois Secretary of State, IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois State Board of Education, in partnership with the Ford Motor Company Fund and The Allstate Foundation are all supporting the Operation Teen Safe Driving program.  Also supporting the Illinois campaign are the Governors Highway Safety Association and SADD (“Students Against Destructive Decisions”).

The schools selected in each region are as follows:

Region 1
Region 2
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Region 7
Dwight D.  Eisenhower H.S.
Bolingbrook H.S.
Erie H.S.
Astoria H.S.
Bradley-Bourbonnais H.S.
Mulberry Grove H.S.
Carterville H.S.
Harold L. Richards
Glenbard West H.S.
La Moille H.S.
Beardstown H.S.
Centennial H.S.
Carbondale Community H.S.
Cisne H.S.
John Hersey H.S.
HD Jacobs H.S.
Riverdale H.S.
Deer Creek Mackinaw
Central A&M H.S.
Civic Memorial H.S.
Herrin H.S.
Ronald Amundsen
Johnsburg  H.S.
AlWood H.S.
East Peoria Comm. H.S.
Central Clifton
East-Alton Wood River H.S.
Alan B. Shepard H.S.
Lincoln-Way Central H.S.
Hall High School
Central H.S.
Century H.S.
Wayne City H.S.
Bogan H.S.
Marian Central Catholic
Polo H.S.
Lanphier H.S.
Cerro Gordon H.S.
O’Fallon Township H.S.
Galatia Jr./Sr. H.S.
Hirsch Metro High School
McHenry East H.S.
Macomb Sr. H.S.
Cissna Park H.S.
Cairo H.S.
Joppa H.S.
J. Sterling H.S. District 201
McHenry West H.S.
Farmington Central H.S.
Midwest Central
Hillside Bethel
Trico Unit Dist. 176
Newton Comm. H.S.
Loyola Academy H.S.
Romeoville H.S.
Fieldcrest H.S.
Pekin Comm. H.S.
Oakland H.S.
Alton H.S.
Patoka H.S.
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts H.S.
Gardner-South Wilmington H.S.
R.O.E. #27 United H.S.
Quincy Sr. H.S.
Tuscola Comm. H.S.
Granite City H.S.
Salem Comm. H.S.
Notre Dame College Prep.
Glenbard East H.S.
West Central H.S.
Sacred Heart-Griffin
Urbana H.S.
Highland H.S.
Thompsonville Unit 174
Oak Forest H.S.
Glenbard North H.S.
Southeast High School
Warrensburg-Latham H.S.
Gibault Catholic H.S.
Frankfort Comm. H.S.
Palatine H.S.
Glenbard South H.S.
Williamsville H.S.
Bloomington H.S.
Lincolnwood H.S.
Mount Carmel H.S.
Taft H.S.
Warren TWSP H.S.
Canton H.S.
Donovan H.S.
Chester H.S.
Gillespie H.S.
Saint Viator H.S.
Schaumburg H.S.
Payson-Seymour H.S.
Heritage H.S.
Althoff Catholic H.S.
Virginia H.S.
Manteno H.S.
Southeastern Jr./Sr. H.S.
Olympia H.S.


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