During the 2019 Fall semester, over 4,500 students attending high schools throughout Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties participated in the Teen Traffic Safety Education program. Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) presenters delivered 213 presentations in 40 different high schools. The in-classroom curriculum covers Florida traffic laws for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists beginning with pre-testing to assess the knowledge of students prior to the coursework, ending with a post-course assessment to test retention.
The curriculum includes emphasizing safe driving practices when sharing roadways with those walking and bicycling. After the course, students demonstrated a nearly 50% increase in understanding that, as drivers, they are required to provide a minimum of three feet when passing bicyclists on roadways. The “Move Over Law,” which states a driver must move over for tow trucks, garbage trucks, and police vehicles, was also covered. Prior to the course, students were asked if they were familiar with the “Move Over Law.” Though some students were aware of their legal obligations, many were not. The retention assessment following the course showed a significant increase in knowledge concerning this law as well.
The Teen Traffic Safety Education program also asked teachers for feedback regarding their satisfaction with the program. Teachers rated the overall content as very good or excellent. One teacher commented: “This presentation is a valuable resource that give students REAL world understanding. The experience and knowledge of the presenter reinforces the safety topics and makes them applicable to teens who are about to embark upon the driving process.”
The Teen Traffic Safety Education program is managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) with funding from the Florida Department of Transportation District 7.