Grant Funds Expansion of Kids Traffic School

For Release: May 7, 2007
Media Contact: Jonnie Banks
(650) 723-6753

STANFORD, Calif.--Since October 2005 middle and high school students from Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Altos Hills have been attending special traffic school classes, a "ticket to education." The class, a product of the Juvenile Traffic Diversion Program, is a joint effort between Stanford Hospital & Clinics Trauma Service and the Traffic Safe Communities Network of Santa Clara County.

The Juvenile Traffic Diversion Program's goal is to increase citations for juveniles that violate traffic laws, such as, not wearing a bike helmet, riding bikes on the wrong side of the street or other bicycle or pedestrian violations. Youth then have the opportunity to attend a two hour class in lieu of paying more than $100 in fines and fee.

The classes, taught by Law Enforcement Officers, are attended by the ticketed youth and their parent or guardian. In class they learn rules of the road, information on common traffic safety violations and bicycle and pedestrian safety. Participants also have the opportunity to hear "first hand" from a trauma survivor why it's so important to protect your head and prevent head injuries.

Now, through a grant from the California Kids' Plate program, students from cities of Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Milpitas and Gilroy will be joining these north county cities in receiving the special safety classes. California Kids' Plate is a unique license plate that uses four symbols - a heart, a hand, a star or a plus sign. Proceeds from these plates fund child injury prevention programs such as the Juvenile Traffic Diversion Program.

An estimated 540,000 bicyclists visit emergency rooms every year. 67,000 suffer head injuries, according to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute. Safe Kids Worldwide estimates that bike helmets can reduce the risk of serious head injury and death by 88 percent. Yet, despite the mandated law requiring children under 18 years of age to wear a helmet, observations confirm that more than half of the children in Santa Clara County do not routinely wear helmets.

More Information

Stanford Hospital & Clinics Trauma Service
Ellen Corman: (650) 724-9369

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