Boyd, 16, is one of 22 Georgia teenagers Deal appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Teen Driving.
The commission, administered through the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, is the first in the nation to be comprised exclusively of teens, and members will advise the governor and the state’s public safety officials on effective ways to communicate a safe driving message to the state’s teen drivers.
“I’m really excited, but at the same time, kind of nervous,” Boyd said. “I’m going to meet new people and I’m meeting with the governor. After I finish the meeting, it will be fine.”
Boyd said she has been thinking of some non-traditional methods she can bring to the table during commission meetings that will influence teens to drive safely.
“I thought of some of the ideas we do in our community and maybe spreading them to others,” she said. “Like the Driving Expo we have and maybe more clubs that have to do with driving and possibly informing the parents.”
The ultimate goal of the commission is to reduce the number of teen crashes, injuries and fatalities on Georgia highways. Vehicle crashes remain the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers in Georgia.
The commission will help Deal develop a statewide strategy for educating teen drivers on the risks and consequences associated with driving while distracted and driving while impaired by alcohol. The teen commission will also focus on ways to increase teenagers’ awareness of the dangers of sending text messages or using smart phones while driving.
By the end of its term, the commission will present a report of its findings to Deal and the transportation committees in the Georgia House and Senate.
Commission members will meet the first time at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday. A call for applications last month encouraging all Georgia drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 to apply drew more than 180 applicants. Those chosen represent 19 different cities across the state.
“This group of teenagers comprises some of Georgia’s best and brightest future leaders,” said Deal. “We are seeking out-of-the box solutions to reducing the teen crash rate in Georgia, and I am confident this commission is equipped to provide us with those answers.”