Community Outreach


AAA Traffic Safety Education Community Outreach Programs

The AAA Northeast Traffic Safety Department offers community outreach programs that help spread the word about safe driving, walking and bicycling for people of all ages. The Traffic Safety Department works with local police departments, school and community centers to reach as many citizens as possible. We are willing to work with specific organizations to tailor courses to your needs. Contact Diana Dias at 401–868–2000 x2126 or at Keisha Barnes at 973-245-4860.

Here are some of the courses that we offer:

  • Older Wiser Driver – A lesson for mature operators– This program is intended to provide information to aging adults in order to promote safer driving habits and improved driving performance.
  • Ready, Set, Winter... – A lesson in winter driving– This program is aimed at assisting drivers in adapting their behaviors to winter driving conditions.
  • Road Rage – How to avoid anger while driving– This program is aimed at teaching all drivers how to respect the vehicle that you are driving and others who are using the road.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety for Children– This program will teach children the importance of following the rules of the road, using cycle helmet, and being an alert pedestrian and/or bicyclist.
  • Child Passenger Safety Seat and Your Child– This workshop will not teach caregivers how to install a car seat, but it will discuss the safety measures associated with using a car seat, the importance of using a booster seat and practical information regarding child height/weight requirements and restraint systems.
  • Buster the Teaching Bus– Buster is the AAA Traffic Safety Education mascot who is available for special appearances at schools and community events to "talk" to children about seatbelts, booster seats, and pedestrian and bicycle safety. He helps to create a memorable visit by answering students' questions himself.

Getting Children to School Safely: Parents are the Key

Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children under 15 years of age. In fact, almost one-third of all pedestrian and vehicle casualties are children in this age group. Children’s involvement in traffic collisions peaks between five and nine years of age — when youngsters are just beginning school. Children in this age group lack the knowledge and experience needed to deal safely with many traffic situations. You can lessen the hazards your children face by teaching safe walking habits and involving your children in the selection of the safest route to and from school.


  • Discuss the safest route to school with your kids
  • Map out the route on paper to help your children "see" the route before they are on the road
  • Afterwards, walk along the route with your children so they may become familiar with it
  • Talk about why it is safer to cross at some street corners rather than others — and to use crosswalks
  • Discuss the meanings of traffic symbols with your children
  • Help your children understand the importance of cooperating with police, AAA School Safety Patrols and adult crossing guards
  • Teach your children to stop, listen and look for approaching and turning vehicles, especially those turning right on red
  • Stress the importance of allowing enough time to cross the street safely
  • Make sure your children know they must walk — not run — across the street and to continue to look for vehicles
  • If your children have a good understanding of left and right, then introduce them to the concept of looking left-right-left before crossing
  • Above all, set a good example for your children — their actions and attitudes are modeled after yours!


  • Go directly to and from school or the school bus stop
  • Cross at corners
  • Cooperate with police, AAA School Safety Patrols and adult crossing guards
  • Search in all directions for approaching vehicles before crossing any street
  • Obey all traffic signals
  • Watch for vehicles that might turn
  • If you must walk on a road that does not have a sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far away from the roadway surface as possible
  • Be extra alert in bad weather — drivers have trouble seeing and stopping in bad weather
  • If you must walk after dark, wear something reflective or light-colored and carry a flashlight

Walk Safe™

WalkSafe™ is a three-day curriculum taught in the elementary school setting and utilizes video, classroom discussion, street-crossing simulation, and art projects. The curriculum is evidence-based and is proven to improve knowledge of pedestrian safety skills among elementary school children while reducing injuries and fatalities.

At no cost to schools, the WalkSafe™ program encourages local communities to advocate children’s participation in a safe, healthy lifestyle. Schools that implement WalkSafe™ and utilize the AAA School Safety Patrol™ program actively engage their students in providing safer, pedestrian-friendly environments and create increased awareness of traffic safety issues. WalkSafe™ works collectively with the AAA School Safety Patrol™ program to provide collaborative education in traffic safety.

Student patrollers serve as pedestrian safety role models and traffic safety ambassadors who can encourage students to use the WalkSafe™ skills while walking to and from school. Schools can maximize student pedestrian safety through the implementation of both programs.

To view and download the WalkSafe™ curriculum, please visit or contact Diana Imondi Dias at, AAA’s Traffic Safety Education Specialist for more information.

AAA Community Traffic Safety Awards Program

Each year, AAA clubs across the country honor cities and towns for their community traffic safety efforts. Cities and towns are honored for having fatality–free years, for the quality of their local education, awareness and enforcement programs, and for taking steps to solve area traffic safety problems. Communities are honored with achievement awards at a luncheon each fall. Contact John Paul at for more information.

Traffic Safety Message Contest

Youngsters from kindergarten through high school have the chance to create an important traffic safety message and be recognized for their efforts. Elementary students create illustrated or graphic arts posters using selected traffic safety themes. High school students can create posters or public service announcement videos dealing with teen driving issues. Students can enter directly online and finalists will be voted on by AAA members. One grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and there will also be cash prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and honorable mentions. more info

AAA's Annual Traffic Safety Poster Contest

Where Safety Meets Creativity
Every year, AAA holds the AAA Traffic Safety Poster Program Contest and invites students in Essex, Morris and Union Counties to participate. The Traffic Safety Poster Program Contest encourages creativity and represents a unique opportunity for students to communicate safety messages to their peers. more info

AAA / Ford Auto Skills

The top high school automotive technicians in each state compete annually in the AAA/Ford Auto Skills. After reaching the state finals through a written exam, students must diagnose and repair deliberately bugged Ford cars. The students compete for over $100,000 locally in scholarships and prizes, and the winning teams represent their state at the national Auto Skills finals. The program calls attention to the need for qualified service technicians throughout the country. For more information about this program, please contact John Paul at or Joe Iannelli at 973-245-5033