The Florida Department of Transportation’s Teen Traffic Safety Education program started in January of 2013. Since then, the program has expanded to all five counties in District 7 (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Citrus, and Hernando). Traffic safety education gives teens the information they need to be safer on the streets of the Tampa Bay Area.
In 2013-2016, over 20,000 students have learned Florida laws and other important responsibilities drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians must fulfill to prevent crashes from happening. During the 2016 – 2017 school year, over 24,000 students from Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will see traffic safety presentations. The Florida Department of Transportation’s goal is to give the presentations in every school in District 7. In just over 4 years, over 47,000 students will see the Teen Traffic Safety Education presentation as the program continues to grow and expand its coverage.
Traffic Education Specialist Gary Tait says it is a rewarding experience to give the presentations and that the students are receptive and grateful for the information. “I explain to the students in the beginning of the presentation, the presentation may be called Teen Traffic Safety Education, but this is information they need to know today and as an adult. After I give the presentation in a classroom, it’s amazing how many times the students applaud to show their appreciation. What is really special, is when a student takes the time to come over to thank me for giving the presentation, as they are leaving the classroom, on their way to another class.”