Partnering With the Georgia Department of Transportation to Deliver Peer Programming to Middle and High School Students

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Project Overview:

Like other states, car crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for Georgia teens. Working closely with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) since 2007, the Youth Transportation Safety Program (YTS) has been delivering the Teens in the Driver Seat (TDS) peer-to-peer programming to schools across the state. The partnership with GDOT focuses on comparing state crash data with data collection conducted by TDS program schools creating a data-driven approach to how YTS delivers peer-to-peer programming to middle schools and high schools.

Our Approach:

Traffic safety professionals agree that the problems young drivers face on our roadways are too great to rely on any single countermeasure to achieve significant crash frequency and crash rate reductions. There is a need for quality driver training, law enforcement, effective outreach and parental involvement. But there is also a critical need for positive peer influence, the type that has been successfully demonstrated through the efforts of Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s (TTI’s) Youth Transportation Safety (YTS) Program in Georgia.

Each year the YTS and GDOT project team take a data-driven approach by outlining geographic and risk focus areas to place programming resources and activities where needed the most. Unique to this project is the Sponsor’s approach to programming development. Monthly meetings give the partners time to review program reach, activities completed, and upcoming strategies.

Localized data collection, such as TDS annual surveys and observations through Zero Hero activities provide the school advisors and teens with information on teen’s knowledge and attitudes toward safe driving alongside observed risks. This information then feeds into the approach students take to educate and deter risky driving behaviors amongst their peers.


Since 2007, the Teens in the Driver Seat program has been active in over 280 Georgia high schools and more than 60 middle schools.

In 2023, YTS held it’s first Georgia Safe Driving Summit at the Norfolk Southern Corp. headquarters in downtown Atlanta where teens and program advisors gathered for an interactive day of traffic safety awareness and program activation.

The development of peer leaders is paramount to successful programming. YTS provides leadership guidance, workshops, and project resources, while the teens help shape the TDS program and are responsible for implementing it.


For more information on this project, please contact:

Stacey Tisdale
Assistant Program Manager
(210) 321-1232
[email protected]

Project Title: Partnering with the Georgia Department of Transportation to Deliver Peer Programming to Middle School and High School Students
Project Start and End Dates: 2007 – Ongoing
Author List: Stacey M. Tisdale
Sponsor/Funding Source: Georgia Department of Transportation