My choices don’t just effect myself but also those around me and I need to be a more cautious driver.
An intensive prevention program for diverting traffic citations and violations for teens and young adults. This session provides education, awareness, self-assessment and strategies for safe driving. Individuals participate in a group discussion with a speaker who has been directly impacted by a car crash. Everyone completes and signs a Restorative Justice agreement to commit to better, safer behavior. The group discusses safety planning to prevent car crashes. The Traffic Violation session is a piece of SCV Restorative Justice efforts to prevent and intervene on risky driving behaviors.
The Traffic Violation session specifically focuses on 16-24 year olds. Most individuals are court-referred. Each group is provided with standard structure and curriculum. Groups can discuss their personal experiences and develop their plan to move forward.
By addressing core issues in a small, focused group session, we can provide services in a timely manner, with an average turnaround time of completion within a month of the referral. This allows a brief intervention as to not over-respond to minor citations, while providing a foundation for safety planning and a commitment to improving choices. Everyone is impacted by traffic safety as a driver, passenger or pedestrian.
2016 Full Year Data
All data has been anonymously summarized from self-assessment forms completed at-will by session participants.
Restorative Justice uses a group dialogue process instead of a lecture to engage everyone in the process. Our services follow a structured format that is tuned to each group to meet individuals where they are at, providing an intervention for risky behaviors and focusing on preventing further harm.
When asked to rate their personal driving behavior on a scale of 1 to 10 [1 unsafe, 10 extremely safe], participants rate their driving as a 7.7 on average. We involve community stakeholders and a speaker in the process to address a spectrum of issues and discuss how we can be safer.
Before attending the session, 84.2% report that they regularly take precautions to keep themselves safe. Each group is asked to consider their personal behavior, and we stress the importance of developing and maintaining good habits, especially as teens and young adults face decisions about alcohol, cell phones and passengers.
The session requires participation from the whole group. This includes completing a self-assessment before and after the session to reflect on personal experiences and behaviors, and to cement safety planning.
Some of the issues addressed in the session are the cause for the referral. In 2016, 36.8% received a citation for failing to stop or yield, 36.8% received a speeding ticket, and 10.5% failed to keep their vehicle under control. 18.4% received a citation for “other” offenses, or they received multiple citations.
For an estimated 81.6% of participants, this was their first traffic citation that they have received. This is a key intervention point, prior to escalated concerns. Participants gain perspective on additional topics, beyond but still including the cause of their original citation. By utilizing dialogue and a session speaker, the Traffic Violation session addresses:
- Seatbelt use
- Distracted driving
- Visual (eyes), manual (hands), cognitive (thoughts)
- Impaired driving:
- Prescription medications
- Controlled substances
- Passenger safety and restrictions
- Night driving
- Anger and road rage
- Motorcycle safety
- Pedestrian and bicycle safety
- Fixed objects and wildlife
All car crashes are ultimately preventable. While accidents do happen, SCV Restorative Justice is committed to improving public safety by reducing the number and the severity of crashes by improving driving behaviors. Restorative Justice promotes accountability on the road as a driver, as well as making educated decisions as a passenger.
The ultimate goal of the session is to prevent traffic fatalities in conjunction with other community efforts. SCV Restorative Justice addresses impaired and distracted driving with local high schools at mock crashes, and a modified Traffic Violation session is offered to Driver’s Ed students in partnership with Prescott High School.
Traffic citations are used as an intervention point to for teens and young adults. Individuals are asked to plan ahead before getting on the road, and each participant chooses a public commitment to share verbally with the group.
While only 24.3% currently report drinking alcohol, even infrequently, impaired driving is a key prevention topic. Access to alcohol and peer pressure can change with age, and SCV Restorative Justice encourages developing safe habits to prevent OWI charges and drunk driving crashes.
I learned that your own reckless driving can impact your and other’s lives for a long time. Really showed me how much one silly mistake could change your life forever.
Female participant, 17Reported after completing the session
I learned that it’s a good idea to tell my parents where I’m heading to so they know where I’ll be if something happens. The speaker that shared [her story] about a motorcycle accident was emotional & powerful! She had a very involving & relatable story.
Male participant, 17Reported after completing the session
That every time you get behind the wheel, you need to think that it could be yours or someone else’s last and to be careful.