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2008 Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challenge
Oregon Department of Transportation
Sally Ridenour
Office: (503) 986-3359
John Harvey
Office: (503) 986-4413

The Oregon Department of Transportation announced an innovative scholarship competition aimed at the greatest risks to teens’ safety.  The biggest threat to teens, often parked in the driveway, are preventable motor vehicle crashes - the leading cause of death for Oregon teens today.
The 2008 Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challengeseeks to prevent crashes and recognize outstanding teen drivers through an innovative scholarship competition. Eligible students will compete for scholarships valued between $500 and $2,000.
“We hope the Challenge will focus positive attention on successful young drivers and raise awareness about the importance of quality driver education,” said John Harvey, Driver Education program manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation.
The competition includes four parts:
  • Written test – similar to Oregon driver license knowledge test.
  • Perception test – a multi-media assessment asking students to determine best practices.
  • Skill test – examines students’ driving ability including backing, parallel parking and steering through obstacles.
  • Simulator (Auto control) – evaluate students’ reaction to simulated situations.
Sponsored by the Oregon Department of Transportation Safety Division, Western Oregon University, Oregon Traffic Safety Education Association, Governors Highway Safety Association and funded through a grant from the Ford Motor Company’s Driving Skills for Life program, the 2008 Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challenge will be held in two locations:
  • Oct. 18 at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany
  • Oct. 19 at Redmond High School in Redmond
Participants must be between 16 and 18 years old, enrolled in an Oregon secondary school, have completed an ODOT-approved traffic safety education course, have had an Oregon driver license for at least six months, have a 3.0 grade point average and a clean driving record among other criteria. Applications must be submitted by Oct. 10. A full list of eligibility criteria and Challenge guidelines is available online at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/drivers_ed.shtml.
The Oregon Driver Excellence Scholarship Challenge coincides with National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 19 – 25). Teen Driver Safety Week is an effort to raise awareness about the tragedy of teen crashes and to highlight the efforts that the state and local communities are making to keep teens safe on Oregon roads.
Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) was established in 2003 by Ford Motor Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and a panel of safety experts to teach newly licensed teens the necessary skills for safe driving beyond what they learn in standard driver education programs.