According to the most recent data, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 4 and all ages between 11 and 14 (NHTSA, 2013). Unfortunately, Texas exceeded every state in the number of traffic fatalities among children aged 14 and under. In 2011, in Texas alone, 12 children aged less than 1 year old, 28 children aged 1-3, 23 children aged 4-7, and 56 children aged 8-14 all became traffic fatalities (NHTSA, 2013). Of all the children age 14 and under killed in traffic accidents in 2011, 16% of them were involved in alcohol impaired driving crashes (NHTSA, 2013).
Young drivers aged 15-20 years old are especially vulnerable to death and injury on our roadways. Nationally, almost one-fifth (19%) of all automobile fatalities are related to young-driver crashes. In 2011, 10.1% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were aged between 15 and 20 years old (NHTSA, 2013). In 2011, Texas led the nation with 189 young driver fatalities and 477 young person automobile-related fatalities (NHTSA, 2013).
Texas leads the nation in the rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths among 15-20 year olds. In FY 2012, Texas municipal courts heard 2,270 cases involving minors driving under the influence (DUI) (Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary, 2013). In 2012, 109 Texans aged 15-20 died in alcohol related automobile crashes. Of those 109 deaths, 46 were instances in which the deceased was the driver (TxDOT, 2012).
Driving on the Right Side of the Road is a project aimed at teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels that is possible through a collaborative effort with the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center and Law Focused Education Inc., a project of the State Bar of Texas and funding through the Texas Department of Transportation.
FY 2013 Highlights & Accomplishments
TMCEC again offered a series of teacher workshops in conjunction with the education service centers and the Law-Related Education Department of the State Bar of Texas. In FY 13, more than 300 teachers and educators were trained on DRSR materials. New materials developed in FY 13 included a legislative brochure for the 83rd Legislature with information about bills of interest to students and teachers and a K-3 lesson packet that includes Spanish handouts with matching playing cards in Spanish. All DRSR materials were correlated with the new TEKS criteria. A set of skill building activities, called Do Nows, were printed for 5th grade students. A new partnership was established with family and consumer science teachers. A children’s picture book, Safe, Not Sorry, was developed in English and Spanish. A high school mock trial on texting while driving (State v. Young) was printed. A PSA contest was conducted, and six outstanding winners were chosen from the dozens of entries. A free webpage with traffic safety videos and PSAs was established.
Highlights & Accomplishments since 2008
Kids In Court... Children visit the Pasadena Municipal Court with Judge Lester Rorick to learn more about municipal courts.
TMCEC wishes to express its appreciation to Terry Pence, Traffic Safety Director, Traffic Operations Division, and Lydia Bryan-Valdez, Program Manager, at the Texas Department of Transportation for their valuable assistance in procuring funding and helping to implement the DRSR programs.
For more information contact TMCEC at 800.252.3718
A project of the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center
in cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation