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UGA Traffic Injury Prevention Institute awarded $836,470 grant
By Andrew Turnage
University of Georgia

The University of Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute has been awarded an $836,470 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to continue its education and training programs in the areas of passenger safety education, young and senior driver education and community programming.

For 24 years, GTIPI has assisted the GOHS in meeting congressional requirements by designing and delivering education that improves safety while traveling in a vehicle. The institute has been a leading resource in traffic safety education in Georgia.

GTIPI has four main training and community education initiatives: Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification, Georgia Teens Ride with PRIDE (Parents Reducing Incidents of Driver Error), CarFit and the Online Safety Store. Each area is designed to reach target age groups or address a critical traffic safety issue.

Law enforcement, emergency medical services, health departments, Cooperative Extension educators and fire departments across the state participate in GTIPI’s training and distribute educational materials. Onsite training is conducted at GTIPI’s facilities in Conyers as well as regional locations across the state.

Parents and young children benefit from safety professionals and volunteers who achieve national certification in the 32-hour Child Passenger Safety Technician training.

“Even though child safety seats are used by parents more than 90 percent of the time, four out of five seats are installed incorrectly,” said Frankie Jones, GTIPI’s director. “The CPST certification qualifies volunteers to teach parents how to do it right.”

GTIPI’s course, “Georgia Teens Ride with PRIDE” is for parents and their new teen drivers.

“Almost two-thirds of teen fatalities in our state aren’t buckled up,” Jones said. “PRIDE trains instructors how to deliver safe driving tools to their community. PRIDE helps parents make it through the process of their teen getting a license without ‘losing their cool’ and helps teens learn how to avoid crashes.”

Designed for mature drivers, CarFit helps seniors stay behind the wheel longer and more safely.

“CarFit is a non-threatening way to educate seniors about how to stay safe and comfortable in their car,” Jones said.

The Online Safety Store is the primary source statewide for print and electronic traffic safety resources for consumers, educators and professionals. GTIPI manages distribution of materials from the GOHS website, www.georgiahighwaysafety.org.

For more information, see http://www.ridesafegeorgia.org or call GTIPI at (678) 413-4281, or toll free at (800) 342-9819.

(Andrew Turnage is the public information manager of the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute of the University of Georgia.)

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