Operation Teen Safe Driving is a statewide initiative spearheaded by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety designed to enlist teen drivers to teach safe driving skills to their peers. The program has been credited with a 52 percent reduction in teen driving fatalities in the State of Illinois in the first six months of 2008. Fatalities dropped from 82 in the first six months of 2007 to 39 in the first six months of 2008. The program, which is in its second year, is a joint effort between the Blagojevich administration, the Illinois’ Secretary of State’s office, the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Allstate Foundation.
Operation Teen Safe Driving utilizes a competition among high school students to design a community-based safe driving program targeting other teens. Over the past year, 104 high schools in Illinois have participated in the Operation Teen Safe Driving Program. Participating schools received $2,000 to implement their program. The school selected as having the best program received a $5,000 prize as well as $3,000 to continue their program. Second place schools in each region received $2,000 to continue their program, and third place schools in each region received $1,500 to continue their program.
The program, in conjunction with stringent laws aimed at teen drivers which went into effect in January, is designed to reduce the number of accidents involving teen drivers in Illinois. Effective January 1, 2008, a person under the age of 21 who is found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved will face a loss of driving privileges, in addition to any fine imposed. Court supervision for any of these offenses will result in a 3 month suspension of driving privileges; a first conviction results in a 6 month suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction results in a 12 month suspension of driving privileges and a third or subsequent conviction will result in a revocation of driving privileges.
Operation Teen Safe Driving also involves the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC), which provides resources and information to schools about the dangers of underage drinking and driving. For further information on Operation Teen Safe Driving, visit: http://www.teensafedrivingillinois.org/
If you or your teen have been accused of driving under the influence or a violation of Illinois’ traffic laws, contact me for immediate assistance.