December 01, 2015

During visit to Sedalia, Missouri Insurance Director Huff congratulates students on earning $100,000 grant

Sacred Heart School was one of 681 high schools competing nationwide for State Farm Celebrate My Drive Grant

Jefferson City - Missouri Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff today visited Sacred Heart School in Sedalia to congratulate students, faculty and staff for earning State Farm's $100,000 Celebrate My Drive Grant. As part of State Farm's campaign, 681 schools competed for a chance to earn one of 22 $100,000 grants for teen driver safety proposals.

"Teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than adults to be in a fatal auto crash," Huff said. "This is a serious problem that can only be overcome when students raise awareness and take on the challenge to change the culture of dangerous driving behaviors. Grants, like the one State Farm has created, encourage teens to make real change to create a safer driving environment for everyone."  

High schools submitted creative videos or photos and proposals designed to address teen driver safety issues in their communities. The criteria used for judging in the first round of the grant competition included the quality and impact of the video's message, the school's approach to teen driver safety and what the school would do with the grant.

The 100 finalists were then chosen and voted on nationally from Nov. 9-13 at the celebratemydrive.com website. Schools were divided into two categories - large (more than 750 students) or small (750 or fewer students). The 22 schools (11 large, 11 small) who received the most online votes won grants.

In 2015, Macon High School was the only other Missouri school awarded the State Farm grant. 

The Missouri Department of Insurance began to raise awareness against distracted driving in the summer of 2014 with the launch of the MO Eyes on the Road campaign. The campaign aims to educate parents and teens about not only the life threatening consequences of distracted driving, but the financial ones as well. It engages parents and teens through social media, public service announcements, publications and online information.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of people 15 to 20 years-old. In 2014, inattentive or distracted driving of teen drivers resulted in 4,623 crashes and 10 fatalities in Missouri. Additionally, Missouri teen drivers comprise about 13 percent of inattentive driving fatalities, which is the largest of any age group.

The department urges everyone to keep their eyes on the road. Parents and teens can fill out a teen driver contract at MOEyesontheRoad.com to commit to no more distracted driving.

Learn more information at MOEyesontheRoad.com.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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