Southeast Works to Encourage Safe Driving

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 6, 2006 — Last year, a little over one quarter of all Missouri traffic crashes involved a young driver under age 21.  While these numbers have declined in recent years, Southeast Missouri State University and a group of universities is committed to reducing the number of crashes and related fatalities this academic year.

According to recent data collected on the 12 public universities in Missouri, most Missouri college students are choosing to use their seatbelt most or all of the time, and eighty-five have used a designated driver in the past year.

Partners in Prevention, a coalition of the 12 publicly funded universities in Missouri will launch its “Drive Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign the week of Sept. 11-22 with educational campaigns and pledge card drives on each of the 12 campuses. “The Drive Safe. Drive Smart.” campaign is aimed at educating Missouri’s college students on the dangers of drowsy driving, inattentive driving, aggressive driving and speeding, and drinking and driving.  The campaign is funded through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division.

Events in conjunction with the statewide campaign are scheduled be held Sept. 20 at Southeast. The Southeast Department of Public Safety will be hosting an event on the Dempster Hall parking lot with the Cape Girardeau Police Department’s Cape Girardeau Prevention and Community Education (P.A.C.E.) D.W.I. simulator car and the Missouri Highway Patrol’s crash seatbelt simulator. The event is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. At the same time, Southeast’s Center for Health and Counseling and its peer educators will be conducting educational awareness programs.

For more information, contact Sgt. Kenneth Mayberry with the Southeast Department of Public Safety at (573) 651-2215. For more information about Partners in Prevention or the Statewide “Drive Safe. Drive Smart” campaign, visit http://drivesafedrivesmart.missouri.edu or contact Joan Masters, coordinator of Partners in Prevention at (573) 882-4634 or via e-mail at mailto:atMastersJ@missouri.edu.