Operation Click Scores AAA as National Sponsor, Poised for Exponential Growth

The Operation Click Mission Statement is "to reduce teen fatalities and injuries from motor vehicle crashes by developing safe driving habits through education and positive reinforcement."

For the three McHenry County high school students who won cars when their key started the ignition at Crystal Lake’s Advocate Good Shepherd-sponsored awards ceremony Thursday, ownership of their own car was the highlight of the day.

For the mission of Operation Click, however, the big deal was the announcement by volunteer President Sean McGrath of the American Automobile Association’s decision to become a sponsor of the teen driving safety program.

The new logo of Operation Click incorporates the AAA logo.

AAA, which wishes to expand its automobile insurance business, apparently has concluded that the demonstrable success of Operation Click in getting teens to buckle up would be helpful in that effort.

Seat belt compliance is up to 96.2% at participating high schools.

Locally, Operation Click has been impeded in its expansion goals, for example, in Carpentersville District 300, because of Allstate Insurance’s Operation Teen Safe Driving.

The slide above says that 2009-10 seat belt compliance was at94.5%. This slide shows compliance two years before. The newest schools in the program show the lowest compliance levels.

Operation Click has cost each participating school $750, while Allstate pays schools $2,000 a year to participate in its program.

Triple-A has decided to match Allstate’s gift.

$2,000 to each school that joins the Operation Click program.

And Operation Click has decided to find a way to replace the $750 a school buy-in price. Next year, no such payment will be needed for a school to participate.

The video, "The Last Text," available on YouTube, talks to one boy who killed a bicylist while texting, one survivor of a crash caused by the distraction of texting, and friends and family of two or three other teens killed while texting. The teens last texts are featured.

Another potential sponsor is AT&T.

Former Northwest Herald Assistant Publisher David Strahl, External Affairs Director for the company, presented a tear-provoking 11-minute video of teens who had been killed while texting.

The take-away message was the question:

“Would you close you eyes five seconds while driving a car?”

Here’s the crash scene of a Missouri girl who did:

I think the text message of this girl, on her way to see her new boyfriend play baseball, was "Where u at."

Cary Police Chief Steve Casstevens was so impressed with the video that he wondered if AT&T would like to show it at the International Conference of Chiefs of Police this summer in the upper Intermountain West. AT&T’s Strahl gave the Illinois Police Chiefs Association Traffic Safety Chairman a copy on the spot.

Other articles on the 2011 Operation Click awards:

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