IUP Highway Safety Program Hosting Regional Safe Driving Competition

Posted on 4/2/2009 3:34:38 PM

A total of $3,000 in scholarships funds are available for teen drivers competing in the 2009 Indiana Regional Highway Safety Project regional safe driving competition.

The April 17 event will be held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Highway Safety Center and is coordinated by the Indiana Regional Highway Safety Project at IUP. Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit 28 is the financial manager of the event.

High schools in Armstrong and Indiana counties have been invited to select a team of three students to represent their school at the competition. Licensed juniors and seniors have to qualify for selection by having a citation- and accident-free driving record and achieving one of the top three scores of a prequalifying test given at their high school.

The competition involves a demonstration of skill on a driving range, in a perceptual driving slide test, and an essay related to highway safety.

Registered schools include: Apollo-Ridge, Elderton, Ford City, Kittanning, Leechburg, and West Shamokin from Armstrong County, and Indiana County Technology Center, Marion Center, Penns Manor, Purchase Line, Saltsburg, and United from Indiana County.

The increased scholarship awards are due to a grant from State Farm Insurance Mutual Companies. The first-place winner will receive $1,500; second place, $1,000; and third place, $500.

Statistics show that 80 percent of teenagers will be involved in a crash or receive a traffic citation during the first six months of getting their license, Sandy Toy, Indiana Regional Highway Safety Project director and competition coordinator, said. “One purpose for these competitions is to highlight teen driver behaviors and also to reward those students who remain crash- and citation-free.”

All participants will receive a T-shirt, a $20 Sheetz gas card, and an emergency vehicle kit and will be treated to a catered awards luncheon at the IUP University Lodge.

In addition to State Farm, financial support also is provided by Indiana Kiwanis, Armstrong-Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission, and Kittanning Walmart .

AAA is supplying the trophies to the individual winners, and the Indiana Regional Highway Safety Project will sponsor the Pennsylvania Driving Under the Influence Association safety simulator programs for winning schools.

Local law enforcement agents and district court judges will act as judges for the driving range. Volunteer representatives from the State Farm Insurance Group, Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit, the Indiana Regional Highway Safety Project, and the Pennsylvania Motor Trucking Association will help with the other portions of the event.

For more information about registering for this event, interested students should check with their high school office. For information about the competition, contact Toy at 724-357-4877.

Winners from this year’s competition will be invited to participate in the Pennsylvania Motor Trucking Association’s tenth annual Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth in May.

This competition offers $10,000 in scholarships from the Pennsylvania Motor Trucking Association and recognition as the best young drivers in Pennsylvania.

The Indiana Regional Highway Safety Project is a federally funded program contracted with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation through the Highway Safety Center of IUP.