Safe-Teen Safe Driving Movement of 1954

The history of the Safe-Teen safe driving movement started in 1954 by Frances E. Cook
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So, How did Safe-Teen get started?

Judge Frances Cook's justice court was in session hearing a traffic case when an obviously irate citizen burst into the room and demanded:
"Your Honor, I want a warrant to pick up the crazy so and so teen-ager who just ran my car off the road. He's parked down by the supermarket right now."
The Beaverton justice of the peace recessed her court and listened to the man's story. She issued a John Doe warrant and the state policeman was sent after the teen-ager. In a few minutes the policeman was back, the culprit in tow.
The "teen-ager" turned out to be 45 years old and Judge Cook lost her self-control.
"I'm getting tired of motorists who automatically think every squirrely driver is a teen-ager. From experience right here in my traffic court I find that some of our very best drivers are teen-agers," she declared.
"What these youngsters need is some way they can be recognized," she went on. "They are not all guilty of this unfair indictment. They need an organization, something catchy so they can stand up and be counted when it comes to labeling good drivers and bad drivers.
They need something like . . . like Safe-Teens," she blurted, emotionally now, and the idea was born.

On December 17, 1954, Judge Cook presented the Safe-Teen program to Beaverton Union High School in Beaverton, Oregon. Mike Colley was the first student to sign up. Picture upper right.
Since the first 100 signed up nearly 100,000 other teen-agers enrolled in 47 states and 7 foreign countries, to demonstrate to the world at large that teenagers can lead in highway safety.

Frances E. Cook was added to the Book of American Women Who's Who's in 1957. She passed away in 1998 of alzheimer's having lived a great life as a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grand mother, great grand mother, Justice of the Peace, Newspaper columnist, singer and all around nice person. She will be missed.

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