Organization focused on youth health and safety celebrates 35th anniversary

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FIA Foundation US Manager Natalie Draisin spoke at the event.
FIA Foundation US Manager Natalie Draisin spoke at the event.

Hundreds of youth from all across the United States gathered at the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) National Conference on Youth Health and Safety to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the organization.

SADD recognizes the importance of promoting positive behavior at an early age, and has expanded beyond its original mission of preventing drunk driving, now advocating for safe and healthy behaviors. The organization supports a national network of chapters at high schools and middle schools by advocating at the national level on relevant legislation and providing training and support.

FIA Foundation US Manager Natalie Draisin addressed over 600 youth at the conference plenary, sharing her experience in road safety. Earlier in the conference, she presented at a workshop where students from all over the country shared their efforts to keep students safe on the roads. Many of their programs focused speed management around school zones, and initiatives to decrease drunk driving.

These efforts are reflected in the worldwide #SaveKidsLives campaign, coordinated by the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. In the five-part action agenda, the first action is “a safe journey to school for every child including safe roads and speed management around every school,” and the fifth is “enforcement and action against drunk driving.” These actions resonated with many of the youth, who were eager to bring the #SaveKidsLives campaign to their schools. “Roads are the leading killer of your population, but you can help reverse that trend. You have a unique and powerful voice that can help create change.” Draisin suggested the youth could sign on to the #SaveKidsLives campaign, and find letters on the campaign website to send to state officials, advocating for key legislation to achieve the action agenda.

The FIA Foundation is grateful to SADD for its leadership in keeping youth safe on our roads, promoting healthy behaviors at an early age, and inspiring youth to get involved in road safety.