NJM partnering with Sixers to bring ‘Share the Keys’ program to Pa.

NJM Insurance Group in West Trenton. (File photo)

NJM is bringing its nationally recognized Teen Driver Safety Program to Pennsylvania.

The 104-year-old West Trenton-based insurer, which announced plans in January to make a bigger push outside of the state for the first time in its history, will introduce its “Share the Keys” program at an event with the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday morning at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The driver education program is designed to provide parents and their teen drivers with the tools and resources they need to build and reinforce safe driving habits. The program is available at no cost to high schools through a partnership with the Pennsylvania DUI Association.

Tracy McManimon, senior vice president and chief underwriting officer of NJM, said the program is a way for the community to see the impact NJM can have.

“For over 100 years, NJM has had an enduring commitment to safety and support of the communities we are privileged to serve,” McManimon said. “Our expansion into Pennsylvania allows us to bring this nationally recognized teen driver safety program to students and parents in the Keystone State and encourages them to take a more active role in their teens’ driving habits.”

The partnership with the Sixers also includes the “Just Drive” Pledge that will offer fans the opportunity to take a pledge against distracted driving. The pledge will automatically register them to win 76ers-themed prizes this basketball season, including game tickets, 76ers merchandise, suite nights and VIP game experiences. To take the pledge, please visit: try.njm.com/sixers.

In Pennsylvania, 229 fatal teen driver crashes occur each year on average. Moreover, teens are the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.

NJM officials say its Teen Driver Safety Program has been proven to effectively reduce teen driver crash risks by encouraging active parental involvement. In fact, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention, parents can reduce their teen’s crash risks by as much as 50 percent when they set rules, offer support and monitor their teen’s driving.

Felicity DeBacco Erni, project director at the PA DUI Association, said the program can make a difference.

“It has been a longstanding goal of ours to keep teens safe on the roadways, and we are confident that this partnership will provide the parents of teen drivers with the tools and resources they need to reinforce safe driving habits,” she said.

Kenneth M. McClain, district executive, District 6 at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said programs such as this one are needed in the state.

“Car crashes are the No. 1 killer for Pennsylvania teens,” he said. “Bringing this program to Pennsylvania gives parents, teachers and school administrators a unique opportunity to help our most inexperienced drivers learn the rules of the road while maintaining both safety and mobility.”

The PA DUI Association and NJM also announced a safe driving public service announcement contest for high school students.

The school that comes in first place will receive either a driving simulator or $15,000 to go toward a post-prom, post-graduation or safe driving program in the school. The runner-up will receive $10,000 and the third-place finisher will receive $5,000. Entries will be accepted through Feb. 15. To learn more about the PSA contest, please visit www.njm.com/JustDrivePSA.

NJM’s Teen Driver Safety Program was launched in honor of the Company’s 100th anniversary in 2013.

The complimentary Teen Driver Safety Program has already reached more than 150,000 students in New Jersey. In 2016, the National Safety Council recognized the program with its Teen Driver Safety Leadership Award. This coveted honor recognizes organizations that work to improve teen driver safety and save lives through dedicated community outreach and innovative educational programming.