Over the past few months, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) have conducted a series of discussions with a wide range of stakeholders from throughout the state.
The common consensus is that the issue of teen driver safety cannot be addressed solely from an educational perspective. Safety education is only one important aspect of a dynamic environment that also includes education/research, medical health, public health, safety (law enforcement, insurance, engineering/construction), youth development, and politics/legislative perspectives. Clearly, there is a need to coordinate efforts across institutions and industries.
The most recent optimization of efforts began at the Driver Education Forum held at LVHN in Allentown on October 9, 2009. The forum resulted in the formation of the Pennsylvania Teen Driver Safety Alliance. The mission of the alliance is to promote best practices in education and policy to improve teen driving safety in Pennsylvania.
After the October 9 Driver Education Forum, the alliance used adaptive planning strategies such as a series of four conference calls to address geographical and scheduling challenges. Discussions centered on alliance goals/objectives and strategies.
An outgrowth of the conference calls is the webinar series that was conducted in February/March of 2010. In essence, the webinar aimed to educate a statewide audience as to the complexities of teen driving safety issues, as was modeled in the Lehigh Valley.
With the support of colleagues from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and PennDOT, Dr. Louis Pesci, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and consultants Bill Warner and Rich Hanson offered three one-hour presentations.
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