Montgomery College Secures Grant from GEICO for Transportation Safety

Grant Will Fund Development of New Driver Safety Courses

Montgomery College’s Transportation Safety Institute has received a $15,000 grant from the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation to support curricula development for two new driver safety courses, targeting young drivers ages 16-25. Grant funds will be used to develop the new courses—one on distracted driving and the other for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. This is the second grant to Montgomery College from the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation.

In addition, the grant will provide scholarships for driver improvement lessons, designed to assist students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Driver improvement lessons are behind-the-wheel driving lessons offered outside the College’s standard driver education course. The lessons require a learner’s permit and help students prepare to pass the driver’s license exam or to become safer drivers.

“GEICO and the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation are true partners in the College’s efforts to ensure young people, including those with mild to moderate disabilities, are adequately prepared to be safe drivers,” said Dr. DeRionne Pollard, Montgomery College president. “We are grateful to GEICO and its foundation for sharing their collective vision for supporting innovative driver safety initiatives.”

The Montgomery College Transportation Safety Institute, which is part of the College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education division, began developing programming for students with mild to moderate disabilities over the last two years, in response to the lack of training options for this population of potential drivers. The grant from the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation will enable the College to enhance its offerings, including providing a course taught by an instructor with dual certification in Motor Vehicle Administration Driver Education and Special Education by the Maryland State Department of Education. To learn more about this initiative, please visit: http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce/bits/driversafety.html.

Over the past year, the Montgomery College Transportation Safety Institute also began looking at ways to respond to the National Transportation Safety Board’s call to eliminate distracted driving among novice drivers to reduce transportation accidents and save lives. According to a 2008 National Highway Transportation Board report, drivers engage in distracted secondary tasks 30 percent of the time that their vehicles are in motion. Additionally, for the period between 1995 and 2003, more than 10 percent of crash-involved drivers were distracted at the time of their crash. The resulting new course at Montgomery College, called “Discipline Your Attention,” will provide young drivers with the requisite skills, strategies, and tools to reduce the upward trend of distracted driving. To learn more, please visit: http://aceitoc.montgomerycollege.edu/course/CourseView.aspx.

GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States based on the latest 12 months written premium. It provides auto insurance coverage for nearly 8.5 million policyholders and insures more than 14.4 million vehicles. For more information about GEICO, go to http://www.geico.com. For more information about the Transportation Safety Institute at Montgomery College, contact Marcy Jackson, program director, at 240-567-2589 or marcy.jackson@montgomerycollege.edu

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