Legislature Recognizes 10 Years of YSCVT; Designates June to be ‘Teen Highway Safety Month’

Vermont’s legislature passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Kesha Ram with many other representatives and senators supporting it, recognizing the Youth Safety Council of Vermont’s tenth anniversary and designating June to be ‘Teen Highway Safety Month.’ Rep. Ram provided this statement, “Legislators were glad to recognize the important work of young people in helping to educate their friends and peers about safe driving. No one wants to turn on the news and see a young life – or any life –  senselessly cut short because of distracted driving.” The Vermont Agency of Transportation held a press event this morning at Montpelier High School. The press release, photos, and video are below.

To the Vermont State Legislature, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and all the partners of the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance — THANK YOU for making our tenth year so memorable, and for making Vermont’s roads safer!

Here’s the press release:

MONTPELIER, Vt.—June 2, 2015–Members of the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance gathered at Montpelier High School today to kick off Teen Highway Safety Month. The Vermont State Legislature closed its 2015 session with a House Resolution recognizing June as the most dangerous month for teen drivers, with graduation celebrations and proms contributing to higher crash rates for teens.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for US teens, and teen drivers are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers older than 20. Our youth are the future of Vermont. And this is why the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance works to educate younger drivers to focus on safety when behind the wheel.” said Sue Minter, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans). “Our overriding mission at VTrans is about safety. Yet we cannot make our roadways safer without the attention of drivers and the support of many partners” she said.

The Legislative resolution recognized the work of the Youth Safety Council of Vermont, dedicated to making teens safer on Vermont highways by presenting the DMV-developed Turn Off Texting program. “We’ve come a long way on driver behavior issues in my time in the legislature,” said House Transportation Committee Chair, Patrick Brennan. “The work of the Youth Safety Council has helped keep safety front and center for us and we will continue to partner with them to save lives on Vermont’s highways.”

The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance partners featured a number of new and ongoing education efforts including the AAA Northern New England “100 Deadliest Days”, AT&T’s “It Can Wait” and UVM Medical Center’s “Txt U L8r” program. More information on all of these efforts is available at highwaysafety.vermont.gov/teens

VHSA members are guided by Vermont’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which serves as the core strategy for reducing crashes on the state’s highways. Kevin Marshia, Deputy Chief Engineer, Highway Division, Vermont Agency of Transportation, and Chair of the VHSA, said, “As new generations of young Vermont drivers enter our roadways every year, we have to be especially vigilant about the message to drive safely and thoughtfully. The VHSA is grateful that the legislature perceives this need and for their recognition of our partner in the state’s safety efforts.”

Erik Filkorn
Public Outreach Manager
Vermont Agency of Transportation
(802) 498-5988