JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - The Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) is initiating its D.R.I.V.E. campaign to combat teenage driving deaths.
The campaign stands for “Driving Requires Initiative Values and Education.”
According to MHP, 70 teenagers died in traffic crashes on Mississippi roadways in 2020. Forty-nine teenagers died in 2019.
“Research has shown Mississippi consistently ranks in the top 5 nationwide regarding teen driving fatalities based on crash analysis information,” according to an MHP news release shared Wednesday.
To combat this, MHP will take the campaign to schools, community colleges, universities, churches and civic organizations.
“Due to the pandemic, we will work with educators, community leaders, first responders and parents regarding the safest ways to present the program,” Maj. Johnny Poulos, MHP public affairs director, said. “Receiving a driver’s license brings a sense of accomplishment and freedom to teenagers while bringing worry and concern to some parents. We want our teenagers to enjoy this milestone in their lives, but at the same time, they have to understand the responsibilities and possible consequences that come with driving.”
MHP will use presentations, provide guest speakers and seatbelt rollover simulators when possible.
Troopers will discuss many topics including distracted and impaired driving, seatbelt usage and driving with teen passengers.