Dear Editor,

You are in Control: A safety partnership with local high school students the Ohio State Highway patrol and Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Teen drivers remain Ohio’s most at risk groups when it comes to becoming involved in a traffic crash. In 2011, 161 young adult drivers, between the ages of 16-20, were involved in fatal traffic crashes on Ohio’s roadways. This is compared to 160 fatal crashes in 2010 and 177 in 2009.

“You are in Control” is a teen driving safety program with local high schools from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) launching this month. The goal of the program is to inform and educated Ohio High school students of the dangers new driver’s face. The program focuses on the importance of decision making and reminds students that they are in control when behind the wheel.

The program combines traditional marketing methods with social media to communicate the “You are in Control” message to students.

“Myth” posters that explain the truths about common myths held about teen driving are being placed throughout the high schools. “Stencils of the You are in Control logo are being provided to schools to paint outside school doors, in the parking lot or near athletic stadiums. Vinyl banners with the “You are in Control” logo will be displayed at high school athletic venues.

“You are in Control” also features the new 5-4-5 initiative which provides opportunities for five high school students to have five minutes to spread the message of responsible driving throughout their school. A Facebook page will feature those five students at each school and tell their stories about how the “You are in Control” message is being conveyed. These five students will be encouraged to use their cell phones to record videos of their school’s efforts, interview students about safe driving, as well as, capture themselves spreading the message. The videos will all be sent to OSHP for posting on the “You are in Control” Facebook page – again encouraging students to visit the page, see themselves in the videos, and share with their friends.

On behalf of the OSHP and OHSAA, we are excited that our local high school students are joining us to focus on responsibility, awareness and safety this school year through participation in the “You are in Control” program.


Lt. Jeff LaRoche,

Commander Ohio State Highway Patrol, St. Clairsville Post

Daniel B. Ross, Ph.D., Commissioner, Ohio High School Athletic Association