Street Smart To Inform LA Youth

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Backed by NASCAR, LAUSD and Auto Club Speedway, Educational Program is Designed to Inform Young People of Responsibilities City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo today officially launched Street Smart, a safe driving program offered to Los Angeles Unified School District high school students to educate young drivers about the responsibilities of safely driving an automobile. The City Attorney was joined at the launch by LAUSD Board Member Marguerite LaMotte and Street Smart partners NASCAR, Auto Club Speedway and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). "Despite the staggering numbers of teenage driving deaths, most public schools no longer offer drivers education and many students receive little - if any - instruction about responsible driving," said Delgadillo. "Through the proactive Street Smart Program, we can educate students, save lives and make our communities safer." "This is a program that will be beneficial not only to high school students, but to other drivers and pedestrians as well," Los Angeles Unified School District Boardmember Marguerite LaMotte said. "The more educated drivers we have on the road, the more confident we can feel about the safety of our community and especially our students." Street Smart is a driver education program taught directly to high school students by Deputy City Attorneys who specialize in traffic-related crimes. The Street Smart curriculum addresses the consequences of street racing and driving under the influence (DUI) as well as offering practical information about obtaining a driver's license, what to do in case of an accident and the importance of motor vehicle insurance. "NASCAR is proud to partner with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office and the Street Smart program," said Dick Glover, vice president of NASCAR Digital Entertainment. "While NASCAR is about the thrill and speed on the track, safety is at the forefront of our priorities. We welcome the opportunity to bring the same enthusiasm and innovation to the Street Smart program and to our Los Angeles-area high school students." "We are grateful for the opportunity to participate and give back to the youth of Los Angeles," said Auto Club Speedway President Gillian Zucker. "The Street Smart program represents much of what is top of mind in our sport - safety and community." Nearly 1,000 students in five Los Angeles high schools have already experienced the Street Smart Program. Participating schools include Susan Miller Dorsey, San Pedro, Thomas Jefferson, Crenshaw, and Los Angeles high schools. Working closely with program partners at LAUSD, NASCAR and the Auto Club Speedway, the City Attorney's Office plans to present the Street Smart curriculum in all 56 Los Angeles high schools by the end of 2007. While high school students only make up 7 percent of licensed motorists, they suffer 14 percent of total traffic fatalities and are involved in 20 percent of all traffic accidents. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that between 1995 and 2004, crashes involving 15- to 17-year-old drivers claimed the lives of more than 30,000 people. Nearly two-thirds of those victims were passengers, other motorists or pedestrians.

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