The Traffic Safety Outreach Program is a joint partnership between NDACo and the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) through the Vision Zero traffic safety initiative. Being a part of the Vision Zero initiative brings focus on strengthening county government's commitment to ensuring the safety of our state’s road network. Ryan Gellner spearheads this important outreach program by working closely with county officials, schools, and other organizations focusing on the importance of wearing seat belts, driving distraction free, driving sober and obeying all traffic laws.
IMPACT TEEN DRIVERS
In the past few years, the NDACO Traffic Safety Outreach Program has been been working to share with teens the dangers of reckless and distracted driving through our effective campaigns in North Dakota area schools.
Our message to young people is simple, yet vital: Focus on the road ahead and get to where you are going safely.
We call this program Impact Teen Drivers.
Because we know that changing the culture of driving to one that is distraction-free will take a multifaceted approach, we offer FREE Impact Teen Driver School Presentations, Train-the-Trainers Workshops, and Lead-the-Leader Trainings. Many of us can remember when wearing a seat belt was not a significant part of the driving culture. In fact, in the 1980s the national seat belt compliance rate was between 11-14%. The seat belt compliance rates today are in the high double digits. For example, in North Dakota, the seat belt compliance rate is 82%. How did we get from 14% to 82%? We changed the culture to one that understood wearing a seat belt was both a necessary and significant part of being safe behind the wheel—again, whether as a driver or passenger.
Through our focus groups and research, we have learned the most effective way to engage a young person so that you can educate them about the dangers of poor decision making behind the wheel is to connect on a visceral or emotional level. Impact Teen Drivers does not use graphic images and gore to engage our audiences, but real life stories and situations that most young people will find themselves in at some point. Evidence demonstrates that graphic and gory messaging does not change long-term attitudes and behaviors behind the wheel, so we choose to use a combination of quirky word puzzles, engaging questions, and real-life situations to facilitate good decision making behind the wheel whether as a passenger or driver.
DID YOU KNOW?
Every 35 MINUTES one motor vehicle crash occured in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 2 HOURS one person was injured in a crash in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 3 DAYS one person died in a crash in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 4 DAYS one unbelted vehicle occupant died in a crash in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 11 HOURS one alcohol-related crash occured in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 3 HOURS one teen driver crash occured in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 4 DAYS one bicyclist was involved in a crash in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 3 DAYS one pedestrian was involved in a crash in North Dakota (2016)?
Every 1.5 DAYS one motorcyclist was involved in a crash in North Dakota (2016)?
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Want to get more information? Visit the 2016 North Dakota Crash Summary.
Want to remember a loved on that died in a motor vehicle crash? Families are invited to create memorials about their loved ones who died in crashes on North Dakota roads.
Want to get involved in motor vehicle crash prevention? Join our Vision Zero Partner Network.
Working together, we can save lives!