The Ohio State University in cooperation with Belmont County Juvenile Court offers first-time juvenile traffic offenders the opportunity to participate in CARTEENS, a traffic safety program whose primary goal is to reduce the number of repeat juvenile traffic offenders. The original CARTEENS program began in 1987 in Brown County and has expanded throughout the state of Ohio. It has proven to be a valuable tool in educating Ohio's youthful drivers and saving lives on highways.
The 'car' in CARTEENS stands for "caution and responsibility" white the 'teens' refers to the teenage volunteers who help prepare and present the three-hour program which is held on Wednesday evenings every three to four weeks at the Extension office. The teenage traffic violators who attend participate in a variety of activities which cover topics such as drinking and driving, text messaging while driving, seatbelt safety, and tips for safe driving. Videos, power point presentations and games are used to present the information to attendees. A parent is also required to attend with each teen driver.
The CARTEENS' volunteers who help present the program receive the benefit of 4-H membership. The hours they devote to the program can also be used for community service credit hours at their school. Volunteers are also rewarded with incentives such as gas and gift cards and earn credit toward a scholarship which is awarded to active volunteers at the end of their senior year.
For more information about the CARTEENS' program, contact Susan West at OSU Extension at 740-695-1455.