The month of April in several suburban counties throughout the Chicago area is an exciting time for many teen drivers. You see during the month of April, students who sign a contract with Operation Click through their participating schools are entered for a chance to win a car. The winners are announced at banquets held throughout the participating counties. Pretty exciting for teenagers, wouldn't you say? Operation Click was found in 1998, by local Crystal Lake police officer Sean McGrath.
Operation Click started out as a seat belt compliance program and is continually evolving with technology as well as new challenges faced by drivers. Operation Click raises awareness of the dangers not only of not wearing a proper restraint but also of drinking and driving and texting and driving. Since it's inception in 1998, Operation Click has expanded outside of Crystal Lake to surrounding areas with chapters including Hoffman Estates/Barrington, Huntley, Libertyville, McHerny/Woodstock, Rock Co., and Walworth Chapters. Participating schools in the chapters last year reported success results from 94-97%.
In 2012, Operation Click founder, Officer Sean McGrath wanted to simplify how the program results were tallied as well as expand the program from just monitoring high school seatbelt usage. Sean wanted to allow highway patrolmen to monitor seatbelt usage on highways as well. With the desire to mainstream how results were tallied, Operation Click set out to partner with a developer to build an app to assist with the data collection. Operation Click contacted SYDCON, in 2012 with hopes we would guide them in the appropriate direction of how an app could help them and requested we submit a proposal. Being a Crystal Lake business as well as parents of a very soon to be teenage driver, we decided to support the safe driver initiative was more important than any profit we could make from the sale of the app to Operation Click, so we contacted Sean and offered to donate the app. To say Sean was thrilled is an understatement. Once the app was completed and launched in the app store, Sean provided the following testimonial:
"As with most ideas, bringing them to a reality can be a challenge. We sat down with everyone at SYDCON and they understood our needs. And as with most ideas, once the idea was created, we realized that we needed to make some adjustments. SYDCON was more than accommodating. After the final product was created, SYDCON was able to provide us some ideas to make the app even more functional and to reach out to more people. We did not expect this type of service. They did their homework and were able to bring a much better idea to reality. We highly recommend SYDCON for any web based or app based needs." Sean McGrath-President, Operation Click
Operation Click relies on community donors, such as the car dealerships whom so generously donate cars as well as larger local firms who support the teen safe driver initiative. At SYDCON, we believe in supporting our community as well as non-profit groups in the area as well. A little help and support from local businesses can go a long way to making outreach programs work and work well.
One thing I would like to add is that in my opinion, Operation Click goes well past teen driver safety. While attending last year's banquet, I was thoroughly moved by the video and statistic presentation by Sean and the other directors. I understand starting the foundation for good driving habits with new drivers is key, but we as adult drivers can learn a lot as well. The carnage demonstrated in real life video presentations from the devastation caused by just taking one second to view a text message while driving can cause is heartbreaking. Texting and driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Do yourself and your fellow citizens a favor and stow your phone until you reach your destination. Don't just make it a point to have a designated driver when you are out and may have a cocktail, make it a point to focus on the road and not your phone.
If you have never heard of Operation Click, or are interested in supporting them (they are always in need of sponsors), head over to their website www.operationclick.com for more information.