Free, New Education Tool Focuses On The Dangers Of Underage Drinking And Distracted Driving

LANSING, Michigan — The Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan (TIA) and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) recently partnered to create a new traffic safety resource DVD that can be used to educate teens and young adults about the dangers of underage drinking and distracted driving.

“Research has shown that education is a vital component to achieving a reduction of traffic crash fatalities and injuries,” said Jim Santilli, executive director of TIA. “This DVD equips public safety officials, driver education instructors, and other traffic safety advocates with a powerful resource to educate teens and young adults about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving.”

The DVD includes PowerPoint presentations and videos on underage drinking and distracted driving, speaker notes, and a video depicting a dramatization of a distracted driving crash. It was produced through federal funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ages 15-20, and distractions and alcohol are key factors in many of those crashes,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “We hope this DVD will help law enforcement officers and educators talk to teens about the dangers of underage drinking and distractions while driving.”

According to NHTSA, 3,331 people were killed and an estimated 387,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011. Nationally, alcohol plays a role in a third of traffic deaths and was a factor in 9,878 deaths in 2011.

The distracted driving crash dramatization on the DVD was filmed in Clinton Township and received an Eclipse Award in West Michigan for production excellence. It was produced as part of the Remembering Ally campaign in memory of 16-year-old Romeo High School student Ally Zimmerman who died in a distracted driving crash in 2011.

An upcoming presentation at Romeo High School on Friday, May 10 at 9:30 a.m. will utilize the new DVD and feature Laurel Zimmerman, mother of Ally Zimmerman, and Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.

Copies of the DVD are available at no cost and can be ordered by e-mailing trafficsafety@michigan.gov or calling (517) 636-4256.

“I commend the Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan and Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning for their commitment to educating the public about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “This multimedia resource gives professionals the tools needed to effectively deliver a powerful traffic safety presentation, helping us to save lives and prevent injuries in Michigan.”


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