Promoting Safe Traffic Stops: A Driver’s Education Safety Collaboration Between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Delaware State Police, and the Wilmington Police Department
This week’s “Road Rules and Rights Initiative” Reached Over 200 William Penn High School Students, Teaching Safe Interactions Between Young Drivers and the Police
WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, Delaware State Police Colonel Melissa A. Zebley, and Wilmington Police Chief Robert J. Tracy, today announced an ongoing effort with school districts throughout Delaware to teach driver’s education students how to engage safely with law enforcement. Thanks to Principal Lisa Brewington, more than 200 William Penn High School driver’s education students participated in the “Road Rules and Rights” program this week.
Road Rules and Rights is an interactive learning experience designed to encourage good decision-making during routine traffic stops for high school sophomores. During a 90-minute learning experience, driver’s education students engage in discussions with law enforcement and simulate a traffic stop. Ultimately, the program emphasizes both the Constitutional rights and statutory obligations of new drivers during law enforcement encounters.
William Penn, the State’s largest high school, is the most recent program participant. Statewide, the Road Rules and Rights Initiative has educated over 1,200 new student drivers about roles, responsibilities, and rights during traffic stops since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
USA Weiss commented about this week’s work at William Penn High School:
“I want to thank our partners in the Colonial School District and schools throughout the state for embracing this needed program. Fundamentally, this is about breaking down barriers. Through classroom participation, the William Penn students interacted with Delaware State Police and Wilmington Police Department officers and a prosecutor from my office to simulate a variety of common traffic stop fact patterns. The Road Rules and Rights Initiative provides a hands-on opportunity for students to better understand common police practices. By learning basic safety tips, traffic stops will be shorter and safer for the public and those law enforcement officers who serve us on Delaware’s roadways.”
“The safety and well-being of our students remains a top priority at William Penn. We wish to thank all involved with educating our students about how to properly engage with police. Activities such as this, helps to foster relationships and instill confidence and trust between students and law enforcement,” said Principal Brewington.
Colonel Melissa A. Zebley stated, “The Delaware State Police would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for this program and the partnership with the school districts to allow us to provide this important training. A traffic stop can be one of the most dangerous situations our troopers are faced with in the course of their daily duties. Understanding the proper procedures of the law enforcement officer, as well as the common issues or questions the driver may have, will make it safer for the young drivers and the troopers during a traffic stop.”
“I am proud of the efforts of Wilmington Police officers who have long participated in programs like this, as part of the daily outreach we have with the community we serve,” said Chief Tracy. “This is a great example of the types of relationship building that we have seen work well in Wilmington, and among our partner agencies in Delaware.”
For more information regarding Road Rules and Rights or other school-based programs visit the U.S. Attorney’s Office website here or contact us at 302.573.6277.