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Immaculate Heart Academy Wins Statewide Safe Driving Competition

NJM Insurance Group awards $2,500 to Bergen County high school

March 27, 2018

WEST TRENTON, NJ — NJM Insurance Group, one of New Jersey's leading automobile insurers and teen driver safety advocates, presented Immaculate Heart Academy (IHA) with a $2,500 check as the winner of its inaugural "Just Drive" online pledge competition. NJM created the campaign in 2017 to raise awareness about distracted driving, which is now considered a national epidemic. The award will go toward IHA's Driver Education Program.

"We are so proud of our student population, the efforts of our Traffic Safety Squad, and the support of our community to bring awareness to teen driver safety," said Terry Skjold, IHA driver education teacher. "The issue of teen driver safety requires constant reinforcement. We are grateful for the important role that NJM plays in helping teens develop driving behaviors that help keep them safe."

Recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, IHA is an all-female college preparatory high school founded in 1960 as the first regional high school for young women in the Archdiocese of Newark. The school also has established a strong record of promoting safe driving awareness. In fact, the school created a student-based Traffic Safety Squad that participates in Hackensack University Medical Center's "High School Traffic Safety Challenge" seatbelt program, and encourages safety for all IHA drivers and passengers throughout the school year. The IHA Traffic Safety Squad also creates safe driving messaging as part of the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey’s U Got Brains Champion Schools program.

"Studies show that talking or texting while driving is the number one distraction among newly-licensed drivers, and using a handheld device can increase the risk of getting into a crash by three times," said acting New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chair and Chief Administrator Sue Fulton. "Given these statistics, continuing to talk or text while driving is risky behavior, and we are proud to spread that message to newer drivers through our partnership with the NJM Insurance Group and our ongoing JustDrive.com campaign."

More than 4,000 pledges were received from students at 75 high schools, along with their friends, family, and members of the community who have either their driver’s license or permit. IHA was the top finisher with 992 pledges.

"We're thrilled that 75 schools and more than 4,000 drivers participated in our inaugural competition, and applaud all of them, most notably IHA and its students, for being so proactive in fighting this important battle," said Violet Marrero, NJM's consumer safety director. "Working closely with New Jersey high schools and their communities is helping to build a culture of safety, one student at a time."

About NJM Insurance Group's Teen Driver Safety Program

NJM was founded in 1913 by policyholders, and has maintained a special relationship with them ever since — operating exclusively in their interests. The Company's enduring commitment to safety can be traced back to its earliest days, with a focus that has expanded from improving conditions in the manufacturing facilities that were once prevalent in New Jersey, to keeping drivers safe on our roadways.

NJM's Teen Driver Safety Program was launched in 2013 in honor of the Company's 100th anniversary. The Program is offered at no cost to high schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and covers topics such as distracted, fatigued and impaired driving, and Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws. In 2016, NJM was selected by the National Safety Council as the recipient of its coveted Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award for its demonstrated results in changing behaviors and attitudes in young drivers, which help reduce teen crashes, injuries, and deaths. To schedule a presentation or learn more, visit www.njm.com/teen-driver-safety.