PSTD Combats Against Reckless Teen Driving

Adam Bihi, News & Opinion Editor

One of the greatest feelings in the world is when a teenagers get their driver’s licenses. They relish the opportunity to drive and cruise around the city with passion, but some teenagers take that opportunity for granted and face numerous dangers every time they step into their cars.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for U.S. teens in 2015. 2,333 teens in the United States ages 16–19 were killed and 235,845 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. These numbers are alarming to parents, some who have become reluctant to let their precious angels take the wheel. But fortunately for them, they don’t have to face this problem alone thanks to the PSTD program.
The PSTD program, which stands for Partners in Safe Teen Driving, is a 90-minute safety presentation that’s held numerous times through the year here at FCHS and other FCPS schools. It was created in 2010 as a way to prevent teenagers from making irresponsible decisions as a result of driving. It’s generally recommended that you attend this event during the quarter in which you are taking driver’s education, but this program is available to FCPS students enrolled in grade 10 Health and Physical Education at no charge. One big factor on why this program is so popular is that you are required to attend this program to pass drivers education. Once you do, you will then receive a pink slip that acknowledge your certification in completing the course.
Mrs. Pritchett (Health & PE Teacher) is one of the instructors for this program, when asked what the purpose of this program was, she responded by saying, “The purpose of the PSTD meeting is to give students and parents an opportunity to expand their knowledge on Virginia state laws and regulations regarding driving.”
Fawaz Omar (10) also responded positively to the program, saying, “I had a good time in driver’s education because of my teacher, Mr. Booth. I think that with what he taught me, it will help me out with the program, and in the process of getting my license, it will help me on my first step to adulthood.”
Mrs. Johnson (Algebra 1 teacher) said, “As a driver, I think it’s important that they have these programs, they explain to students what the rules are because these rules evolve and change over the years. A lot of students can be safe drivers after witnessing this presentation and hopefully a lot of accidents will be prevented as a result of this program.”
Driving isn’t an easy feat to do as a crazy teenager, but it helps that you have a good support system with your instructors along the way. FCHS and FCPS schools have created an excellent program to assist us on the roads, so that if they can’t be there, we’ll know what to do. So next time you get a text message or a phone call, just wait until you park or pull over—it could be the difference between saving someone’s life, and losing your own.