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This session was moderated by Emma Harrington, Injury Prevention Director at Sheperd Center.
Panelists included:
Garrett Townsend, Director, Public Affairs, AAA
Russell H. Henk, P.E. Program Manager & Senior Research Engineer, “Teens In the Driver’s Seat”
Kenneth Bain, Program Director, Cinema Drive

Garrett Townsend of AAA gave the audience a lot of good information about motor vehicle laws currently in Georgia and statistics around accidents and fatalities, such as the fact that 6 out of 10 teen crashes involve driver distraction! He closed with the Five E’s of Traffic Safety: Education, Enforcement, Engineering, Evaluation and Encouragement.

All the way from Texas, Russell Henk of Teens in the Driver’s Seat shared about the foundations of their program and successes they’ve seen in teen driving behavior before and after the course. It’s the first peer-to-peer program for teens that focuses solely on traffic safety and addresses all major risks for this age group. The program has seen much as a 33% improvement in teen driving behavior across some of the risk behaviors they focus on. Here’s a video from Cy Falls High School in Houston, TX talking about the program’s impact at their school:

Lastly, the audience was privy to an interactive 3-D video by Kenneth Bain of Cinema Drive. The multisensory video showed a real life experience about the consequences of drinking and driving, along with the science of what alcohol does to the body.


It was a well-rounded, informative session. The audience evaluations said it all! Learn more about each of these organizations below.

Teens in the Driver Seat:

Started in 2002, Teens in the Driver Seat® is the first peer-to-peer program for teens that focuses solely on traffic safety and addresses all major risks for this age group. Teens help shape the program and are responsible for implementing it and educating their peers and parents; Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) provides the science, guidance and project resources. Teens in the Driver Seat® is available to high schools in California, Georgia, Nebraska, and Texas and we are currently looking for schools in other states to apply to begin the program.

Cinema Drive:

Cinema Drive targets high school students during their first years of driving vehicles before or after getting their drivers’ licenses. “Cinema Drive” features several distinctive multimedia segments that focus on critical driving and human factors- speeding, distracted driving and texting, driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, peer pressure, seat belts, and tiredness. The desired goals of “Cinema Drive” are to provide high school drivers with useful knowledge to change any undesirable habits of driving, and to inspire behavioral shifts among their peers, friends and families.


AAA was founded over 100 years ago for the purpose of lobbying for driver and passenger rights, fair laws and safer vehicles — all to better promote the love of the open road and the adventure of driving. Since then, AAA has grown to over 50 million members strong, while providing valuable membership services such as roadside assistance. Additionally, AAA has broadened its horizons to include all types of travel-related services, as well as offer a variety of insurance and financial products and services.

Today’s AAA is a national federation comprised of more than 50 individual clubs throughout the United States and Canada. Whether you’re traveling around the world or to the corner grocery store, planning a honeymoon or weekend road trip, learning to drive or in need of a battery boost, the best way to begin your journey is with AAA.

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