Home News Ohio Launches New Traffic Safety Education Program for Non-English Speakers

Ohio Launches New Traffic Safety Education Program for Non-English Speakers

Traffic Ticket Police Vehicle - A police cruiser with the lights flashing has stopped a speeding car along the interstate highway and is issuing a ticket.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO), a division of The Ohio Department of Public Safety, unveiled a pioneering initiative aimed at enhancing road safety education for non-English speakers across the state. This new program is designed to assist English Language Learners (ELL) in acquiring essential driving knowledge and preparing for driver’s license tests administered by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

The comprehensive curriculum and accompanying train-the-trainer program provide crucial information on Ohio’s driver’s license requirements, traffic signs and signals meanings, and fundamental traffic safety laws. These resources are intended to empower non-English speakers to navigate Ohio’s roadways safely and confidently.

“Non-English speakers who are new to Ohio may face challenges in understanding traffic laws, which can increase their vulnerability to accidents,” emphasized Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Andy Wilson. “Basic driver education fosters safer driving practices and contributes to overall road safety for everyone in Ohio.”

Initially introduced during OTSO’s 2024 Ohio Traffic Safety Summit in Columbus as a pilot initiative, the program has now been rolled out statewide. Trainings are conducted in English, allowing participants to translate and share educational materials within their communities.

Emily Davidson, Executive Director of OTSO, highlighted the program’s role in fostering community integration and safety. “By offering traffic safety education in multiple languages, we aim to reduce barriers for Ohio’s English Language Learners and promote inclusivity,” she explained. “Our goal is to create a safer environment for all residents through accessible education.”

It is important to note that this educational initiative does not replace formal driver education requirements mandated by the state. Participants who deliver this program within diverse language communities are not certified driver training instructors in Ohio.

Further details and resources, including curriculum outlines, PowerPoint slides, and comprehensive guides, are accessible at no cost on OTSO’s website. These materials are available for any individual or organization interested in implementing the program within their community.

This announcement follows OTSO’s ongoing efforts to strengthen driver education in Ohio. Recent initiatives include nearly $2.5 million in grants to support driver training scholarships for eligible teens across 42 counties. Additionally, the Creating Opportunities for Driver Education (CODE) Grant program received $4.5 million to expand driver training options in underserved areas earlier this year.

For more information about the new traffic safety education program or to access resources, visit the OTSO website or contact their office directly.