The Ohio State University Extension’s 4-H CARTEENS Program is a traffic safety program for first-time juvenile traffic offenders. Teen traffic offenders attending this program have typically been cited for speeding, stop sign violations, reckless operation, and other similar moving violations. The Trumbull 4-H CARTEENS program works with the Trumbull County Family Court system to require first-time juvenile offenders to attend a 4-H CARTEENS program. A parent and/or guardian are required to attend the Trumbull 4-H CARTEENS session with their teen traffic offender. The CARTEENS program utilizes teen volunteers to teach traffic education safety programs to first-time teen traffic offenders, while also building offenders’ self-esteem and interpersonal skills.
Every year hundreds of Ohio youth are involved in traffic accidents resulting from speed, drunk driving, not paying attention while driving, and many other reasons. Many Ohio youths either lack the responsibility needed to operate a vehicle or make seemingly minor mistakes that lead to minor accidents or even death. The Ohio 4-H program is based on involving youth in hands-on activities lead by caring adults to engage youth in their own learning.
The primary goal of the Ohio 4-H CARTEENS program is to reduce the number of repeat juvenile traffic offenders. Some major juvenile traffic offenses that Ohio 4-H CARTEENS deals with include speeding, stop sign violations, reckless operation, and other, similar moving violations.
Specific objectives of the Ohio 4-H CARTEENS program include:
- CARTEENS instructors will demonstrate an increase in their public speaking effectiveness and presentation skills, and increase their knowledge of traffic laws
- First-time teen traffic offenders will increase their knowledge of traffic laws and consequences of poor decision-making
- First-time teen traffic offenders will increase safety belt use, decrease instances of drinking and driving, decrease instances of riding with impaired drivers, decrease average speed to or below the posted speed limit
The Trumbull 4-H CARTEENS program is a collaborative effort of several organizations and agencies. Trumbull County Family Court mandates first-time juvenile traffic offenders to attend the Trumbull 4-H CARTEENS program, and OSU Extension 4-H Youth Program recruits and trains the CARTEENS instructors. The Ohio State Highway Patrol Warren Post shares knowledge of traffic safety and road rules, as well as first-hand experience of handling traffic crashes.
CARTEENS Activity Stations
The Trumbull 4-H CARTEENS is a three-hour program that is broken up into three sections. First, the Ohio State Highway Patrol teaches the basics of traffic and road safety. Then, the 4-H CARTEENS instructors facilitate 2-3 hands-on activity stations with participants, with a separate session just for parents. The remaining portion of the class includes guest speakers and parent/youth activity. The various skill stations available to be taught to Trumbull 4-H CARTEENS program participants include:
- Road Rage
- Seat Belts
- OVI (Operating Vehicle while Impaired)
- Fatal Vision Goggles
- Driving Distractions
- Road Signs
- Driving trivia
- Ohio Laws