TRACTION (formerly Team Spirit) is a youth traffic safety leadership training program designed to empower youth to take an active role in promoting safe driving habits.
TRACTION seeks to accomplish this mission by providing youth and their adult advisors with the motivation, information, skills and support necessary to develop a plan of action that addresses impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver inattention and promoting safety belt usage through events and activities to be implemented within their schools and communities
The goal of the TRACTION Training Conference is to provide participants with:
- Leadership skills
TRACTION consists of two phases: The initial phase of the project is the TRACTION Training Conference. During this summer’s conference, high school students and advisors will be invited to attend as school teams. As teams actively participate, they will not only receive educational training, but will also develop individualized team action plans to be implemented within their own schools upon their return.
While at the conference, teams will learn the “action planning” process. They will use these skills to identify a problem within their community and develop a plan to solve the identified problem through alcohol and drug-free activities in an effort to reduce substance use and the related traffic crashes that can result.
The second phase of TRACTION is the actual implementation of the individual team action plans. These plans are carried out through the support of the adult advisors, student team members, and additional students who will be recruited to assist with these events. As a result, TRACTION has the potential to have a very positive effect, not only on the participants themselves, but also on their schools and their entire community
Student teams are led by a staff of high school and college students who facilitate the action planning process and participate in all other conference activities with participants.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention developed the Team Spirit project. The program is based on the belief that youth themselves, when implementing traffic safety prevention programs, are more successful among their own peers. Through their participation in this program, Traction (formerly Team Spirit) members strengthen their individual involvement to be safe and courteous drivers.
The first Team Spirit conference in Missouri was held in 1995 and was sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Safe Communities Program and the state’s Highway Safety Division. Over 125 high school teams have been trained to date.
In 2016, the Missouri Team Spirit program was renamed to TRACTION.