The U in the Driver Seat program and Texas Department of Transportation teamed up on March 28 and 29 for the inaugural Peer-to-Peer Impaired Driving Prevention Symposium at Texas State University. The event aimed to educate college-aged students about the impaired driving problem and introduce peer-driven efforts that can be used at colleges and universities to address such problems.
Colleges attending the event included Concordia University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Texas State University, University of Texas-Pan American, University of Texas at Brownsville, University of Houston, Huston-Tillotson University and the University of the Incarnate Word.
The two-day symposium had 12 breakout sessions. Topics included:
- Peer-to-peer programs/strategies that can be used on campus
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws
- Screening and intervention
- Using social norms and marketing to prevent DWI
- Drugs of choice on campus other than alcohol
“The goal for the weekend was to create awareness about the dangers of impaired driving, empower the students with ideas and resources to combat this issue, and have the students take that knowledge back to their campuses,” said Russell Henk, Director of the U in the Driver Seat program. “Impaired driving is a real problem in Texas, and calling attention to that fact is the first step in changing behavior and preventing motor vehicle crashes.”
A second symposium will be held Sept. 11 and 12 at the Southern Methodist University.
U in the Driver Seat was created to promote peer-to-peer education on the risks of impaired driving. This initiative was inspired by the highly successful Teens in the Driver Seat program that was created more than 10 years ago to reduce the large amount of teenage deaths due to motor vehicle crashes.