ATLANTA (April 11, 2013) – Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R- Cassville) participated in a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday to announce the creation of a partnership between the Safe America Foundation and Operation Hope, aimed at enhancing public safety along Georgia’s roads and highways. Through this partnership, a new “Teen Training Academy” will open at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta to train inner-city youth about the importance of driving safety.
“I am extremely proud of the combined efforts of organizations such as Safe America Foundation, Operation Hope and SafeTeen Georgia Driving Academy for working to make Georgia roads safer by teaching teens about the importance of safe driving,” said Sen. Loudermilk. “Ebenezer Baptist Church’s historic location along downtown’s Auburn Avenue provides the perfect location to equip Atlanta’s inner-city teens with driver safety education and training.”
Lending his support to the effort, Sen. Loudermilk applauded Governor Nathan Deal’s efforts to improve highway safety while also commending members of the Safe America Foundation and Operation Hope for encouraging driving safety among Atlanta’s inner-city youth.
The “Teen Driving Academy” held at Ebenezer Baptist Church will provide incentive for inner-city Atlanta teens to maintain good grades while also keeping a good driving record. Participants in the summer “Teen Driving Academy” will be eligible to compete in a spring 2014 drive-off event if they maintain a B-average in high school. This event will include opportunities to receive college scholarship funds and a chance to win a 2014 Chevrolet Sonic.
The press conference also announced Safe America’s annual Teen Driving Safety Expo – sponsored by the SafeTeen Georgia Driving Academy, to be held at the Cobb Galleria on May 4, 2013.
According to the SafeTeen Georgia Driving Academy, approximately 5,000 and 6,000 teenagers die in vehicle crashes every year nationwide. These drivers are also 400 percent more likely to die in a car crash than 25-34 year old drivers. Georgia ranks 4th in the nation for teen car crashes, yet a very low percentage of the state’s teens get driver education.
Attendees at the press conference also included the following coalition of civic leaders:
- Len Pagano, President and CEO, Safe America Foundation
- James Bailey, Chief Executive Officer, Operation HOPE, Inc.
- Donna Kosicki, President, Georgia PTA
- Lynne Scroggins, Administrator, Atlanta Medical Center
- Joann Birrell, Cobb County Commissioner
- Law Enforcement Representatives from the Georgia State Patrol, Atlanta, Marietta, Kennesaw, Cobb County, Clayton County and Henry County
“We are proud to work with Senator Loudermilk to make roads as safe as possible,” said Len Pagano, President and CEO of Safe America Foundation. “As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, Sen. Loudermilk is a key advocate of road safety and improving Georgia teen driving safety laws. Driving deaths are still the number one reason for teenage fatalities in Georgia, and we want to continue to raise awareness to prevent these unnecessary deaths from occurring in the first place. Driver’s education is one of the things that really can make a difference and it’s important to ensure every Georgia teenage driver has access to it.”
Additional information regarding the “Teen Driving Academy” is available at https://safeamerica.org/drive2013.
For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2013
For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Shawna Mercer, Sr. Communications Specialist