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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2011

IDOT Unveils List of Selected Schools for 2011-2012 Operation Teen Safe Driving Program
Participating Schools Will Receive Grants to Create, Implement Peer-Led Programs

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation today announced that 105 Illinois high schools have been selected to participate in the 2011-2012 Operation Teen Safe Driving (OTSD) 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. 

The initiative partners with Ford Motor Company Fund’s nationally recognized Ford Driving Skills for Life program, and the Allstate Foundation’s Keep the Drive. The selected high schools are evenly distributed across the state.

“We applaud the schools selected for the upcoming Operation Teen Safe Driving program for their commitment to improving safety on state roadways,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Students involved in the program in the past have demonstrated dedication and creativity in inspiring their peers to make better driving decisions. We expect more of the same this year.”

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

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 Jan. 1, 2008, these changes gave Illinois one of the best graduated driver license programs 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 as 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/or 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 $2,000 in grant funding from IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety, The Allstate Foundation and The Ford Motor Company Fund. 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 event.

The top five schools from each region will be invited to send students to a “Driving Skills for Life, Ride and Drive” event 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 Bill McGrath, Allstate Insurance Regional Sales Leader and father of teen drivers.

“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 decreased by 56 percent since the law took effect in 2008. This law, in conjunction with the extremely effective and successful 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 all support the Operation Teen Safe Driving program.  Also supporting the Illinois campaign are the Governors Highway Safety Association and SADD (“Students Against Destructive Decisions”).
 

Region 1                            City

Alan B. Shepard H.S.             Palos Heights
AQSA H.S.                                Bridgeview
Bremen H.S.                               Midlothian
Dwight D. Eisenhower H.S.       Blue Island
Evergreen Park Community        Evergreen
John Hersey H.S.             Arlington Heights
Morton East H.S.                               Cicero
Mother McAuley Liberal Arts        Chicago
Notre Dame College Prep                    Niles
Oak Forest H.S.                          Oak Forest
Taft H.S.                                          Chicago
Thornton Fractional North             Calumet
Tinley Park H.S.                        Tinley Park
Wells Community Academy           Chicago


Region 2                                   City

Crystal Lake Central H.S. Crystal Lake
Dundee-Crown H.S.      Carpentersville
Gardner South Wilmington      Gardner
Glenbard North H.S.        Carol Stream
Glenbard West H.S.             Glen Ellyn
H.D. Jacobs H.S.                  Algonquin
Islamic Foundation H.S.       Villa Park
Lincoln-Way Central H.S.  New Lenox
Lincoln-Way West H.S.     New Lenox
Marian Central Catholic    Wood Stock
Newark H.S.                             Newark
Plainfield South H.S.             Plainfield
Romeoville H.S.                 Romeoville
Vernon Hills H.S.             Vernon Hills


Region 3                                 City                         

Eastland H.S                                 Lenark
Erie H.S                                             Erie
La Moille H.S.                          La Moille
Lena-Winslow H.S.                          Lena
Milledgeville H.S.                Milledgevile
Oregon H.S.                                  Oregon
Ottawa Township H.S.                  Ottawa
Pecatonica H.S.                       Pecatonica
Putnam County H.S.                  Granville
River Ridge H.S.                         Hanover
Riverdale H.S.                         Port Byron
Rock Island H.S.                   Rock Island
Rockridge H.S.                    Taylor Ridge
Serena H.S.                                    Serena
West Carroll CUSD #314           Savanna


Region 4                                     City

A-C Central H.S.                     Ashland
Astoria H.S.                              Astoria
Beardstown H.S.                Beardstown
Deer Creek-Mackinaw         Mackinaw
East Peoria Community      East Peoria
Fieldcrest H.S.                          Minoke
Glenwood H.S.                       Chatham
Lanphier H.S.                     Springfield
Liberty H.S.                              Liberty
Pleasant Plains H.S.    Pleasant Plains
Quincy Senior H.S.                   Quincy
Riverton H.S.                          Riverton
Roanoke-Benson H.S.            Roanoke
ROWVA H.S.                           Oneida
Sacred Heart-griffin H.S.   Springfield
Waverly H.S.                          Waverly


Region 5                                    City

Arcola Jr. /Sr. H.S.                 Arcola
Cerro Gordo H.S.         Cerro Gordo
Deland-Weldon H.S.             Deland
Donovan H.S.                     Donovan
Edinburg H.S.                    Edinburg
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley  Gibson City
Hillside Bethel Christian      Decatur
Manteno H.S.                     Manteno
Meridian H.S.                        Macon
Monticello H.S.               Monticello
Neoga H.S.                             Neoga
Shelbyville H.S.             Shelbyville
Tri-Valley H.S.                      Downs
Tuscola Community H.S.    Tuscola
Warrensburg-Latham Warrensburg


Region 6                              
City

Anna-Jonesboro H.S.           Anna
Belleville East H.S.       Belleville
Cairo H.S.                            Cairo
Carrollton H.S.             Carrollton
Civic Memorial H.S.       Bethalto
Egyptian Senior H.S.        Tamms
Elverado H.S.                   Elkville
Gillespie H.S.                 Gillespie
Madison Accelerated      Madison
Marquette Catholic H.S.      Alton
Mater Dei Catholic H.S.    Breese
Murphysboro H.S.  Murphysboro
North Greene H.S.      White Hall
Okawville H.S.             Okawville
Roxana H.S.                      Roxana
Shawnee H.S.              Wolf Lake
 



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