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Mobility Education:  A four-point approach

Mobility education changes the way we think about getting around. It is giving teens an understanding of all kinds of transportation – and not just the keys to the car. The Mobility Education Foundation is taking a four-point approach:

1.  Championing Effective Education

Too little has been invested in developing effective education. There is a crisis in Traffic Safety Education resulting from a lack of innovation.  The world is changing and we need a new curriculum that can keep up with the needs of 21st century adults.

Mobility education is an efficient, holistic program that simultaneously addresses issues of safety, environment, health and economics by redefining our expectations about transportation and its consequences. To enable long-term learning, The Mobility Education Foundation’s teaching methods engage the senses, stimulate thought and provide a physical challenge.

2.  Starting with Teens

While millions of dollars are spent every year trying, unsuccessfully, to change adult transportation habits, mobility education tackles those habits before they’ve fully formed, focusing on teen driver’s education courses as a point of intervention. 

Mobility education empowers teens to make safe choices in a world where motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people ages 4–33 and every year in Washington alone, car accidents kill 100 youth ages 14–20. Mobility education instills healthy habits that make it possible for teens to protect the wellbeing of their bodies and the planet by teaching them the risks of physical inactivity and the environmental effects of transportation decisions. 

Mobility education functions as a capstone course for related programs, such as Safe Routes to School, making sure that options like walking or biking remain — even after a teen gets the keys to the car.

3.  Building a Network of Partners

By connecting and leveraging the collective efforts of its many partners and supporters, the Mobility Education Foundation is creating a fulcrum for changing transportation habits nationwide. Representatives of the Mobility Education Foundation participate in the Teen Driving Roundtable, the Transportation Research Board Operator Education & Regulation committee, and other National, State and County-level advisory committees working to improve the future of transportation. Our National Advisory Council and State Advisory Council are equipped with the expertise to guide and coordinate this effort, nationally and at the state-level.

4.  Implementing Sustainable Action 

At the Mobility Education Foundation, we have identified several opportunities for putting mobility education into practice. These include:

  • Legislative Action - In Washington State, a bill was introduced during the 2007-8 legislative session to establish a large-scale pilot course.  Our guidance and sample legislation can aid in generating and promoting legislative action in your state. 
  • Local Initiatives - Cities and Counties are searching for ways to promote new travel behavior among adults and youth. A wide variety of local partners might include traffic safety agencies, transit services and school districts.
  • Market-based Approaches - The cost of traffic safety education or drivers ed offered in commercial schools varies widely. By providing an enhanced version, schools for private instruction stand to profit from the added value of mobility education -- while offering parents and teens a greater return for their money.

We will provide guidance to partner organizations and individuals trying to make mobility education happen in communities across the United States.  Become a part of our network today.