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To launch Global Youth Traffic Safety MonthTM in the U.S., the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) held a rally today at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. Joining hundreds of youth from across the country were Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman, Former U.S. Transportation Secretary & Make Roads Safe Chairman Norman Y. Mineta, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden, White House Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland. Following the rally, attendees participated in a Long Short Walk to the headquarters of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The Long Short Walk—a World Walk for Road Safety—is just one of hundreds of walks happening around the globe in memory of Zenani Mandela, great-granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, who was killed in a crash at age 13. The initiative encourages individuals and groups to take a Long Short Walk in their neighborhoods or near their offices or schools to promote road safety for everyone.  Learn how you can do a Long Short Walk in your own community.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is walking with NOYS both to promote teen driver safety and the importance of a healthy lifestyle for youth and parents alike. Our middle school program, Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix, stresses the importance of making good choices, not drinking underage, and being active. We partner with Superstars from a variety of sports, including 2-time gold medal winning Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, to achieve these goals.

After arriving at the NTSB, attendees had a chance to learn about what different organizations are doing to make the nation’s roads safe. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility talked to youth about IKnowEverything, our new teen driver safety program, and encouraged them to make smart decisions behind the wheel.

The students who work with NOYS to raise awareness about traffic safety are dedicated to the safety of others. From across the country, they came to DC to share ideas about how to get their peers, parents, schools and communities involved in their goal to make our nation’s roads as safe as possible. They know that traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths each year; heading into the summer, the most dangerous time of the year for teen drivers, the rally they held today is a reminder to us all to pay attention and be smart behind the wheel. Parents have the most influence on their kids, so it is important to set a good example for the future drivers in your car every day.

For more information about helping your teen know everything about safe driving, visit IKnowEverything, or our twitter & facebook.