Brandywine High School to participate in safe-driving program

Published 9:24 am Thursday, January 13, 2022

NILES — Students at one local high school will have the opportunity to become better, safer drivers.

Thursday, it was announced that Brandywine High School, 1700 Bell Road, Niles, is one of 38 Michigan schools participating in the “Strive for a Safer Drive” program. S4SD, a peer-led traffic safety campaign, aims to reduce the leading cause of death for teens — traffic crashes.

In 2020, there were 473,443 licensed drivers aged 15 to 20, which represented 6.7 percent of all Michigan drivers. However, they accounted for 7.3 percent of all traffic deaths in Michigan, with 51.9 percent of those deaths being the driver. Inexperience and risk-taking behavior are the primary factors contributing to teen-driver fatalities, according to Michigan State Police.

In its 11th year, S4SD is a public-private partnership between Ford Motor Company Fund’s Driving Skills for Life program and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. The program encourages teens to talk with their peers and their communities about making safe-driving choices.

As part of the S4SD program, each school receives $1,000, which students use to create a teen-led campaign that will educate their classmates and community about various traffic safety topics, including speeding; seat belts; pedestrian, bicyclist and passenger safety; and impaired, distracted, nighttime and winter driving.

Schools will submit videos or PowerPoint presentations outlining their campaigns. The top-five schools judged to have winning campaigns will receive cash prizes ranging from $500 to $1,500.

Since the 2011 creation of S4SD, 176 different Michigan high schools have participated in the program.

The OHSP has partnered with the Transportation Improvement Association to coordinate activities of the S4SD program.