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As society becomes more and more drawn to “reality-based” entertainment, re- ality-based education has taken on its own role in empowering enforcement in prevent- ing behaviors and in modifying destructive behaviors before they reach a fatal peak, said Cecile Bush, Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of Motor Vehicles.

“Victim-based programs wherein violators are forced to confront the grief, rage, and hard- ship endured by the victim or victim’s family and friends really come at the offender from all angles...one can imagine being a victim oneself as well as causing someone else’s pain and suffering through irresponsible and illegal actions,” said Bush.

These more graphic tactics have been known to heavily influence driver’s decisions andbehaviorswhentheygetbackontheroad. The many different youth programs avail- able, such as Louisiana State Police’s Behind the Faces program (http://www.lsp.org/be- hindthefaces.html) are tailored to present information in a contemporary light, real- istically, not as a “goody two shoes” kind of thing, but as a young socially responsible person should be proud to follow,” said Bush. “You don’t have to follow the pack. You can be a leader on your own.”

Available from the Department of Public Safety for school administrators, Behind the Faces is a 50-minute motivational production targeting middle and high-school students. According to the program’sWeb site, it features real-life stories, cinematic dramatizations, dy- namic visuals, clips from the latest Hollywood films and a blazing soundtrack of today’s pop- ular music—all media-related items that play a crucial role in a teenagers life, and therefore play a huge role in spreading important mes- sages. Combining social media tools with to- day’s pop culture helps wield teenagers’ atten- tion in the direction of the message, and hold it there long enough to sink in.

Understanding what our future leaders, employees, and parents of tomorrow are facing today, there is a great need to place before them media they can relate to, accord-

ing to theWeb site. There are many ways to re- inforce powerful messages about safe driving practices, and Louisiana is one of many states accomplishing this goal by contributing edu- cational material through media.

The Bottom Line So whether it’s docking points from a reckless driver’s record, nipping the problem in the bud by teaching novice drivers the repercus- sions of poor behavior before they get on the road or reaching out through different means of educational messages—be it TV Com- mercials or sit-down classes—Driver Im-

To see other examples of how new media tools are being used to teach teens, check out our story “Safety Campaigns Meet Social Media”in the Projects department of MOVE Online!

provement programs are necessary tools in reminding drivers of all ages and behaviors of the consequences that come along with operating a vehicle. M

Fall 2008 | MOVE


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