Teens Rally to Promote Safe Driving

Teens among some of the least likely drivers to wear a safety belt

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Teens from across the state are gathering in Columbia next week to share their experiences and successes promoting wearing safety belts in their local highway safety initiatives. Their efforts, developed as a part of the students’ participation in Missouri’s TRACTION program, are aimed at bringing positive change to local communities.

TRACTION is a traffic safety and leadership training program the Missouri Department of Transportation offers to empower teens to promote safe driving habits. The goal is to make positive changes in their schools and local communities. Students who attend these summer conferences participate in educational training sessions and develop individualized action plans that they can implement locally. Many of these plans have played crucial roles in cities across the state enacting hands-free ordinances.

The March 28-29 TRACTION reunion allows returning students the opportunity to share new ideas, attend workshops and reenergize themselves to continue promoting these safe driving habits in their communities.  

“Seven out of ten teens killed in Missouri traffic crashes in the last four years were unbuckled,” said Nicole Hood, MoDOT’s state highway safety and traffic engineer. “TRACTION provides a unique opportunity for positive peer to peer influence. With the help of these students, we’re hopeful to bring better driver behaviors to our roadways across the state.”

The March 28-29 TRACTION program includes safety advocate Jacy Good, whose recovery from a traffic crash caused by a distracted driver in 2008 left her partially paralyzed. She now travels across the country, educating various groups like TRACTION about the dangers of cellphone use behind the wheel.

“Keeping teens educated and informed of the impact they have every time they get into a vehicle, as a driver or passenger, is paramount in maintaining and promoting the idea of everyone arriving to their destinations safely,” said Hood.

To learn more about the TRACTION Reunion program or to register for the upcoming TRACTION conferences, visit motraction.com.


For more information, call MoDOT at 888-ASK-MODOT (275-6636) or visit www.modot.org. To receive the latest statewide news and text alerts, signup for e-updates.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The agenda for the March 28-29 TRACTION reunion is available here. Please call MoDOT’s Communications Specialist Cole Duenckel at 573.536.1287 to coordinate interview opportunities at the conference.

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