Health Dept. Announces Winners of Teen Safe Driving Competition

Cornell High School Wins Team Title; South Park Teen Wins Individual Event

The Allegheny County Health Department today announced the winners of the County’s third annual Teen Safe Driving competition held last month at Pittsburgh Technical Institute in Oakdale.

Cornell High School won the team title and a prize of $500 to be used for school safety initiatives.  Eleven other high schools competed in the event:  Brashear, Chartiers Valley, Moon, Northgate, Perry, Plum, Riverview, Shaler, South Park, Steel Valley and Sto-Rox.

The following students were winners in the individual safe driving competition:

  • First Place – Jillian Gallatin of South Park, earning a gold medal and $1,000 cash prize.
  • Second Place – Caleb Coradi of Cornell, earning a silver medal and $500 cash prize.
  • Third Place – Michael Mitchell of Perry, earning a bronze medal and $250 cash prize.

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, with young drivers often more prone to crashes due to their inexperience or in some cases aggressive or distracted driving. 

The safe driving competition provides an opportunity for young drivers to not only demonstrate their driving skills, but also learn the do’s and don’ts of safe driving from experienced professionals.

The event began with talks by professional drivers on young driver issues such as aggressive driving, distracted driving and crash trauma.  Following the presentations, three students from each school were tested on driving skills, perceptual skills and knowledge of traffic safety.

The driving skills were demonstrated in a controlled environment, on a course layout set up in a cordoned area of the parking lot at Pittsburgh Technical Institute.

The Health Department and ten other groups comprising the Allegheny County Teen Safe Driving Committee sponsored the event --  AAA East Central, Allegheny County Police, Allegheny County Pretrial Services, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, PA DUI Association, Pennsylvania Trucking Association, Pennsylvania State Police, PA TIPP, PennDOT District 11 and Pittsburgh Technical Institute.  It was also made possible by a grant from the Allstate Foundation.        

The first and second place winners will participate in the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association’s annual statewide Safe Driving Competition in Camp Hill in May and compete for $10,000 in scholarships and a chance to be recognized as the best young drivers in Pennsylvania.

The Health Department’s Traffic Safety Education Project is a federally funded program contracted through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

#  #  #