Mississippi News

D.R.I.V.E. Campaign to combat teen driving deaths

Due to an increase in statewide teen driving fatalities for 2020, the  Mississippi Highway Patrol is implementing its traffic safety campaign titled  D.R.I.V.E. (Driving Requires Initiative Values and Education). 

In 2020, 70 teenagers lost their lives in traffic crashes on roadways in Mississippi  compared to 49 in 2019. Research has shown Mississippi consistently ranks in the  top 5 nationwide regarding teen driving fatalities based on crash analysis information. In an effort to bring these numbers down, the Mississippi Highway  Patrol Public Affairs Division will take the D.R.I.V.E. campaign to schools,  community colleges, universities, churches and civic organizations. 

“Every Mississippian should be concerned about the number of teenagers that are  losing their lives on our highways and roadways,” said Colonel Randy Ginn,  Director of MHP. “We have to sense the urgency to educate our youth on safe,  smart and responsible driving habits. The D.R.I.V.E. campaign will do just that.  Changing driving habits will change these numbers.” 

“It is our hope that the D.R.I.V.E campaign will help teen drivers develop safe  driving habits while reducing the number of teen driving fatalities in Mississippi,”  said Commissioner Sean Tindell. “Parents can also help prevent teen driving  crashes. Parental involvement shouldn’t end when a teen receives their license.  Parents are encouraged to talk to their teens about the importance of safe driving.  Set your teen driver up for success by giving them rules and boundaries.” 

With COVID-19 still presenting challenges regarding the education of students in  Mississippi, there are a variety of ways MHP plans to get the safety message out to  not only students, but parents as well. 

“Due to the pandemic, we will work with educators, community leaders, first  responders and parents regarding the safest ways to present the program,” said  Major Johnny Poulos, Public Affairs Director for MHP. “Receiving a driver’s  

license brings a sense of accomplishment and freedom to teenagers while bringing  worry and concern to some parents. We want our teenagers to enjoy this milestone  in their lives, but at the same time, they have to understand the responsibilities and  possible consequences that come with driving.”  

The D.R.I.V.E campaign will incorporate PowerPoint presentations, guest speakers  and seatbelt rollover simulators when possible. Main topics will include driving  distractions, impaired driving, seat belt usage and driving with teen passengers.

Mississippi Highway Patrol information

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