The National Safety Council (NSC) has recognized the Texas Transportation Institute’s Teens in the Driver Seat (TDS) program with its Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award. This is the fourth national award the TDS program has received.
For most of its nearly 100-year history, the NSC has focused on workplace and transportation safety, but the organization did not begin to honor specific teen driving safety efforts until last year.
“Many organizations and individuals are taking significant actions to save the lives of our teens and those who share the roads with them,” NSC President Janet Froetscher said in announcing the TDS award. “These honorees were selected from nominees across the nation based on their demonstrated commitment and the measurable impact they had changing behaviors, enhancing public understanding of the issue and advocating proven prevention strategies.”
As part of its announcement, the NSC noted how TDS “has reached more than 400,000 young drivers and passengers, and has achieved measurable behavior changes and crash reductions.” The announcement also noted that TDS assisted in improving the state’s graduated driver license law during the last session of the Texas Legislature.
TDS is the nation’s first grassroots, peer-driven program focused exclusively on teen driver safety. The program is now active in more than 375 Texas schools, as well as a number of schools in several other states.
“Of all the national honors that any safety program could receive, this award from the NSC is clearly one of the most noteworthy,” said TDS Director Russell Henk. “It’s a reminder that we’ve come quite a long way since our modest start in 2003, but it also reminds us that we still have lots of important work to do.”