Pennsylvania’s first statewide Occupant Protection Enforcement initiative, Buckle Up PA, was created in 1999 and is still administrated by the Highway Safety Network. After that initial project, the NCHSN completed 22 other Occupant Protection grant projects for PennDOT. The Network has successfully created and maintains an Occupant Protection Statewide Project that, depending on funding levels, administrates contracts with 320 to 600 individuals Law Enforcement Agencies and an extensive education and public awareness network. The Buckle Up PA Project introduced the first online reporting and reimbursement system. This data/reimbursement model has saved thousands of project and law enforcement administrative hours. Each funded LEA is now accountable and responsible for every funded enforcement dollar. The HSN took the responsibility to assist in the redesign of the State’s observational seat belt study, provide the coordination of site identification, identified and trained third party observers, and provided data collection. The HSN currently administers PA’s certified seat belt observational surveys.
BUPA created traffic safety curricula for students from kindergarten through grade 12. Created specifically to be presented by uniformed law enforcement officers, these programs put students and law enforcement in the same room to discuss the importance of being safe and secure when riding in or driving a vehicle.
The presentations are tailor-made for students at elementary and secondary levels. The elementary program, Sit Back: It Is Elementary, focuses mainly on the proper seats for age, weight and height, seat belt use and the importance of children riding in the back seat until age 13. Pedestrian and school bus modules also are available. The secondary program, Survival 101, dives deeper into unsafe behaviors like speeding, DUI and distracted driving. It also cements the seat belt message for older children and teens. This program is available in versions for middle and high school. Finally, the 16 Minutes program is for students who are within one month of celebrating their sixteenth birthdays. This workshop program gives new drivers some face time with a law enforcement officer in their community.
Traffic safety educational programs are sponsored by Buckle Up Pennsylvania and PennDOT and are completely free. Over 8,000 presentations have been conducted, reaching 700,000 students. Follow the link to open the educational programs http://www.pasafetyedu.org/