Attention young drivers: Kicking off National Teen Driver Safety Week

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When it comes to the safety of our roads, drug-impaired and distracted driving continue to be major concerns, among young people. According to the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey, 8% of Northern Ontario students in grades 10-12 reported driving a vehicle within one hour of using cannabis and 31% reported texting while driving at least once in the past year. National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) is an annual public awareness campaign that raises awareness about ways young drivers and their passengers can remain safe on our roads. The campaign is taking place from October 21 to 26, 2019 and will focus on drug-impaired driving, including cannabis and other drug use, as well as distracted and aggressive driving.

The Sudbury Road Safety Committee has partnered with local school boards to bring the NTDSW campaign to local secondary students. The campaign will include interactive educational sessions, trivia, and a speaker with lived experience. The goal of NTDSW is to empower teens to make informed decisions and start conversations with their peers, friends, and family about driving with focus.

“Education can help reduce the rate of youth injuries on our roads,” said Raymond Beaudry, public health nurse at Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Through this campaign, we hope to encourage teens to speak out if someone is using a cell phone while driving or attempting to drive while impaired.”

One way to do this is to talk about the expectations of drivers and how passengers can help to promote driving with focus. To drive with focus means to drive both substance and distraction free. This means setting aside your cell phone and other distractions when behind the wheel and paying close attention to the road. Other tips for teens planning a night out include: arranging for a designated driver, taking public transportation, using a ride sharing app, or staying over at a friend’s house.

Members of the Sudbury Road Safety Committee are calling upon all citizens of Sudbury and the surrounding districts to join together during NTDSW to keep our roads safe.

For shareable safe driving messages and to learn more about NTDSW, visit Parachute.ca or follow us at @SafeRoadsCGS on Facebook and Twitter.

This item was last modified on October 22, 2019