Kean University’s Dr. Claudia Knezek was honored in May at the Champions School Showcase in Freehold. The event is part of two-days of iDrive Safe programming designed to call attention to Global Youth Traffic Safety Month.
According to a recent University of Virginia study, automobile accidents are the third leading cause of death among college students. Were these figures to include alcohol related automotive accidents, which researchers confined to a separate category, car accidents would become the leading cause of death among college age youths. During the past decade, over 700 young drivers perished on New Jersey roads. Dr. Knezek's effort are helping diminish the terrible toll of careless driving amongst young people.
Selected annually by the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition (Coalition), GDL champions are individuals and organizations who have advocated for the proven principles of the state’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. The three-step GDL program (permit, probationary and basic license), is considered one of the nation’s most progressive and is credited with significantly reducing deaths involving teen drivers. “The individuals and organizations selected as GDL Champions are playing a pivotal role in helping to ensure that parents, teens, coaches, and the community-at-large not only understand how GDL works to reduce teen crash risk, but why. Through their efforts, lives are being saved,” said Pam Fischer, Leader of the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition.
Developed by Kean University in partnership with the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (DHTS) and the New Jersey State Police, Dr. Knezek’s Share the Keys program is a research based, data-driven education program designed to reduce teen driver crash risk by increasing parental understanding and involvement. Presented in high schools and community-based settings across the state, the 90-minute program is designed to ensure that parents have a clear understanding of how and why GDL works to help their teens survive their most dangerous driving years.
For more information on how to enroll in a “Share The Keys” orientation or how to become a program facilitator, contact the Division of Highway Traffic Safety at (609) 633-9300.