Education programs through the St. Joseph Safety and Health Council aim to get young drivers started on the right road to safe habits.
Traffic crashes are the number one killer of teenagers, 15 to 19 years olds. John Christensen, the traffic safety coordinator for the St. Joseph Safety and Health Council, said this is why they stress the need for driver’s education even though it is not required in order to obtain a license in Missouri.
“It is so important at this age that we instill some really good, safe and legal driving habits, and that’s what this program is about — to instill good, fundamental driving habits to keep them safe, to keep their passenger safe, to keep other motorists safe,” Christensen said.
Their work in driver’s education seems to be catching on. The St. Joseph Safety and Health Council is adding a class for summer 2021 so teens have an option to learn in June or July. Up to 90 students can be taught in this time rather than the 60 reached in summer 2020.
Sgt. Jake Angle with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said education on driving for teenagers is something troopers encourage.
“Trying to reach that population through social media platforms that are popular and then going into the schools, which is one of my primary duties, and doing education,” Angle said. “Anything we can do to get the message out there, the importance of wearing your seat belt, obeying all traffic laws and most importantly not texting and driving. Putting that phone down, not being on that phone when they’re behind the wheel. Those seem to be some of the leading factors that contribute to traffic crashes.”
Registration for the classes is open at
stjoesafetycouncil.org or by calling the officer at 816-233 -3330.