Teen Drivers Speeding

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team examines the tragic trend of teen drivers speeding.

In January, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in partnership with Ford Motor Company Fund, released a new report, Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle.  The new analysis for GHSA found that from 2015 to 2019, teen drivers and passengers (16-19 years of age) accounted for a greater proportion of speeding-related fatalities (43%) than all other age groups (30%). During this five-year period, 4,930 teen drivers and passengers died in speeding-related crashes in the United States.

Recently, we created and shared a video of a local teen driver sharing his reasons not to speed after receiving a hefty speeding citation. His story is a positive one as no one was hurt. Unfortunately, there are too many injuries and fatalities among teenage drivers and passengers.

FDOT District Two, covering 18 counties in Northeast Florida, had 6,928 total teen driver crashes in 2019. Despite a strong Graduated Driver License (GDL) law in Florida, we are still experiencing a high volume of teen crashes. Below are some more statistics on teen drivers in our communities.

The numbers of crashes with injuries increase as inexperienced teen drivers get more confident and start showing careless driving behaviors like speeding. While males and females injured in teen driver crashes are about even, serious injuries and fatalities are predominantly male, by almost double. Duval County, with the higher populated–urban areas, illustrates a drastic increase of injuries and fatalities among teen drivers. Together, our traffic safety community, partners, parents and caregivers can help reduce risky and careless teen driving through education, training, and law enforcement.

Click here to read the complete GHSA news release: As Traffic Deaths Spike During COVID-19, New Report Examines Unsettling Trend of Teen Drivers Speeding – and Dying – on America’s Roads.

Click here for the full GHSA and Ford Motor Company Fund PDF report: Teens and Speeding: Breaking the Deadly Cycle, which examines the significant role speeding plays in teen driver fatalities and offers practical tools to help parents rein in this lethal driving habit.

Additional Teen Drivers Speeding Resources:
Florida Teen Safe Driving Coaltion
FDOT State Safety Office – Speeding and Aggressive Driving

Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver

2019 Celebrate Safely Artwork

The Northeast Florida Department of Transportation District Two Community Traffic Safety Program is excited to promote the annual Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver campaign. The popular public service initiative was created to help reduce alcohol-related traffic deaths and injuries throughout the holiday season. Together we can make a difference!

During the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day, local establishments are promoting the Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program by displaying the materials provided. The 11×17 full-color posters will be displayed in neighborhood restaurants and bars. The stickers are for servers and bartenders to wear, and for sticking onto table-talkers, menus, and bill holders.

If you know any establishments that would like to participate, please place an order online now.  

order-form

Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver packages for bars and restaurants 

Due to the hardships and challenges many local establishments are battling this year with COVID-19, we are not requiring them to provide free nonalcoholic drinks. The following list of participating restaurant and bars have offered to serve nonalcoholic beverages free-of-charge to patrons who identify themselves as the designated driver during the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day.  


List of 2020 Participating Restaurants and Bars:

Let us know if you or someone you know would also like to participate!


Click on the images below to download and share these free “Celebrate Safely” social media graphics:


The campaign’s “Drive Safe and Drive Sober” message is key at any time of year, and especially during the holidays. If you’ve been drinking, celebrate safely. Designate a driver, call a cab/ride-share/Uber/Lyft, or spend the night where you are.  Make sure to check out the following:
Recipes for the Road: nonalcoholic drinks and safety tips
Mocktails: drink and food recipe cards and videos
Seasons of Safety: traffic safety-themed holiday card collection
Impaired Driving: traffic safety page with more resources and materials


IT’S NOT ALL FUN IN THE SUN

In Florida, you can get a DUI (driving under the influence) if you drive or are in physical control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher – regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. (Sometimes the term “blood alcohol level” (BAL) is used instead of BAC). However, a driver can also get a DUI for driving while impaired to “some degree” as the result of ingesting alcohol, drugs, or any combination of these.

While most DUIs involve driving, it’s possible to get a DUI in Florida without actually moving your vehicle. Florida law makes it illegal not only to drive a vehicle under the influence, but also to “operate” or be in “actual physical control” of a vehicle in such a state of impairment. So, for instance, an intoxicated motorist who’s found by police slumped over the wheel with keys in hand could be prosecuted for DUI even though the car never moved.

And like all other states, Florida has “implied consent” laws that generally require all motorists lawfully arrested for DUI to submit to chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine) for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol or drugs in their systems.

Every day, 36 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver.  This is one death every 41 minutes.  The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion.

Important safety steps we can all take:

  • Before drinking alcohol, designate a non-drinking driver within your group.
  • Don’t let your friends drive impaired.
  • If you have been drinking or using drugs, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • If you’re hosting a party where alcohol will be served, offer alcohol-free beverages and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon

Pedestrian Hybrid Beacons (PHBs) are designed to help pedestrians safely cross busy or higher-speed roadways at midblock crossings and uncontrolled intersections, where a majority of pedestrian fatalities occur. The PHB is an intermediate option between a flashing beacon and a full pedestrian signal. It assigns right of way and provides positive stop control, and also allows motorists to proceed when the pedestrian has cleared the travel lane. 

PHB High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk Operation Guide 

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program developed a simple guide to help explain the process of a PHB for both motorists and pedestrians. Learn what drivers and pedestrians or bicyclists should do when they approach a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon. 

Click here to download the PDF “Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon Guide, watch the video and flip through the digital book below.

Northeast Florida uses PHBs in communities to increase driver awareness of pedestrian crossings at uncontrolled, marked crosswalk locations. They are different from regular pre-timed pedestrian traffic signals as they are only activated when needed by the pedestrian.

PHB Instructions for Drivers and Pedestrians

STEP 1
• Drivers will see all indication lights are dark when there is no pedestrian waiting to cross, and the pedestrian signal will maintain a “DON’T WALK” symbol.
• Pedestrians who want to cross the street will need to push the button to activate the system.

STEP 2
• Drivers will see a FLASHING YELLOW light for a few seconds when pedestrians push the button. Drivers should reduce speed and prepare to stop.
• Pedestrians will still see the “DON’T WALK” symbol and should wait.

STEP 3
• Drivers will see the flashing go to a STEADY YELLOW light, warning them the indication will soon turn to a STEADY RED light.
• Pedestrians continue to see the “DON’T WALK” symbol and should remain waiting.

STEP 4
• Drivers will see a STEADY RED light, which requires them to STOP at the stop line.
• Pedestrians will then see a “WALK” symbol to cross and should look in both directions to make sure all vehicles are stopped.

STEP 5
• Drivers will see ALTERNATING FLASHING RED lights, as pedestrians cross the street. During this period, drivers are required to STOP and then they may proceed with caution if crosswalk is clear.
• Pedestrians will see the WALK indication change to a flashing countdown that indicates how much time they have remaining to cross the street.

STEP 6
• Drivers will see all lights are back to dark at the end of the flashing countdown and may continue to proceed through the crosswalk if it is clear.
• Pedestrians will see the “DON’T WALK” symbol and must push the button to activate the system again.


For more Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon resources and information, visit: FHWA Safety Program.

No Regrets When You DRIVE WITH CARE & CROSS WITH CARE

Drive to Save Lives

U R The Key: Drive to Save Lives tour at area high schools

Jacksonville and St Augustine – Cara Filler presented her Drive To Save Lives to many of our local high school students. Cara’s identical twin sister was killed in a crash while driving with her boyfriend, who was speeding and showboating. Cara uses her personal tragedy to educate teens in a positive and “doesn’t feel like learning” way on how to be a safe passenger, how to get out of driving with an impaired or dangerous driver, and how to take personal charge of your own safety.

“Your life. Your choice.”

Car crashes continue to be the number one cause of death for our teens. Having this amazing, national speaker available to our schools for free to discuss the importance of teen traffic safety was priceless. Special thanks go out to Florida SADD with grants from State Farm and the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition for making these life-saving presentations happen at eight of our schools.

Our Community Traffic Safety Team and other educational outreach of groups like SADD and the Teen Safe Driving Coalition continue to do all that we can to drive down teen deaths on our roadways. Our community leaders and partners help ensure teen drivers are provided with the information, motivation and tools that will keep them safe on the road.

Cara is a natural speaker, engaging and memorable. This powerful tour will not be forgotten by the students. The video, recorded and produced by Favorite Studios, is only a highlight of the full presentation which lasted about an hour. There was such an enthusiastic response from students and faculty, we can hope to see more of these teen safety events in the future.