SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) received a national award today for its lifesaving teen safety program from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) during the group’s annual meeting in Savannah, Georgia,. GHSA, which represents state highway safety agencies across the nation, recognized IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety along with its partners, the Ford Motor Company Fund and The Allstate Foundation for the Operation Teen Safe Driving Program. At the same event, GHSA gave its highest award to Senate President John J. Cullerton for his long records as a “Safety Trailblazer.”
The GHSA called the Operation Teen Safe Driving “the gold standard for developing a public/private teen driver safety program.”
“We are very pleased to receive this honor from the GHSA,” said IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig. “Our Division of Traffic Safety is a leader in saving lives and we will continue to work diligently to make sure every Illinois driver is buckled up every trip, every time and motorists of all ages are safe on our roadways. IDOT also applauds Senate President John Cullerton for the well-deserved recognition for his many decades of leadership in the area of traffic safety.”
GHSA said that “the Illinois Operation Teen Safe Driving Program has clearly had an impact. Teen fatalities decreased from 155 in 2007 to 93 in 2008.”
Traffic safety officials have credited the sharp reduction in teen fatalities to two main factors: the teen driving program and a tough new set of teen driving laws championed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
More detailed descriptions about the winners are online at www.ghsa.org.