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TRAFFIC SAFETY MERIT BADGE

SCOUTMASTER BUCKY CLASS PREPARATION PAGE

Return to Traffic Safety Merit Badge Page

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

 

Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class and the event the class is being held in conjunction with that registration may take a little time.
 

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. (Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you should have forwarded your Blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.) If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.


Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide directions as to where one can find the answers.  It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event.

You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Traffic Safety Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Traffic Safety Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST.

 

 

TRAFFIC SAFETY MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS

 

Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Traffic Safety Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

5. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work

 

1. Do the following:

a. Describe the top 10 mistakes new drivers frequently make.  Name the two items you are required by law to carry with you whenever you operate a motor vehicle.

Scouts should have this written out to show the counselor that some thought and preparation has gone into this component of Requirement 1 and Scouts should be prepared to discuss their findings.  As with all requirement components, Scouts will not automatically be signed off on a requirement just for attending.

b. Describe how alcohol and other drugs affect the human body and why a person should never drink and drive, or drive while under the influence of any mind-altering substances including prescription drugs, cold medications, and illicit drugs. For the state where you live, find out what is the legal blood alcohol concentration and the consequences for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. Find out what the open-container law is in your state.

Scouts should prepare notes prior to attending, for use during the class discussion.

c. Describe at least four factors to be considered in the design of a road or highway. Explain how roadside hazards and road conditions contribute to the occurrence and seriousness of traffic crashes.

Scouts should review this part of Requirement 1 and be prepared to explain during the class.

d. Explain why a driver who is fatigued or distracted should not operate a motor vehicle. List five common distractions, explain how driver distractions contribute to traffic accidents, and tell how drivers can minimize distractions. Describe how volunteer drivers can plan to be alert when transporting Scouting participants.

Scouts should have this written out to show thought and preparation and to be prepared for discussion on this requirement component.

 

2. Do the following:

a. Demonstrate how to properly wear a lap or shoulder belt. Explain why it is important for drivers and passengers to wear safety belts at all times.

The demonstration portion of this requirement will be covered in the class, however, Scouts should be prepared with their explanation for this requirement prior to the class.

b. List five safety features found in motor vehicles besides occupant restraint systems. Describe each safety feature, how each works, and how each contributes to safety.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared with notes for discussion during the class.  Active class participation is required in order to complete this requirement.

 

3. Do the following:

a. Using your family car or another vehicle, demonstrate that all lights and lighting systems in the vehicle are working. Describe the function and explain why each type of light is important to safe driving.

The hands on portion of this requirement will be done in the class, however Scouts should review the requirement and its components and be prepared to share their findings on the components of this requirement.  (The Merit Badge Pamphlet is a GREAT resource to help prepare for this requirement).

b. Using your family car or another vehicle, demonstrate how to check tire pressure and identify the correct tire pressure for the vehicle. Explain why proper tire pressure is important to safe driving.

This part of Requirement 3 will be completed in the class, however, Scouts should review this requirement and its components prior to the class in order to assure complete understanding.

c. Demonstrate a method to check for adequate tire tread. Explain why proper tire tread is important to safe driving.

This component of Requirement 3 will be completed in the class, however, Scouts should review this requirement and its components prior to the class in order to assure complete understanding.

d. Demonstrate with a smear-and-clear test if the windshield wiper blades will clear the windshield completely or need to be replaced. Describe instances in good and bad weather when windshield washers are important to safe driving.

This part of the requirement will be completed in the class, however, Scouts should review this requirement and be prepared with a few answers for the second part of this requirement which will be discussed within the class.

 

4. Do the following:

a. In a location away from traffic hazards, measure with a tape measure - not in a car - and mark off with stakes the distance that a car will travel during the time needed for decision and reaction, and the braking distances necessary to stop a car traveling 30, 50, and 70 miles per hour on dry, level pavement. Discuss how environmental factors such as bad weather and road conditions will affect the distance.

With the use of the Scout's merit badge pamphlet, this component will be done during the class.  Scouts should plan on going outside for part or all of this part of Requirement 4.  Scouts should have weather-appropriate attire with them.  Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be familiar with the concepts they will need for completing this requirement.

b. Demonstrate the difference in nighttime visibility between a properly lit bicycle and rider (or a pedestrian) wearing reflective material and a bicycle and rider with no lights (or a pedestrian) dressed in dark clothing, without reflective material.

This component of Requirement 4 will be discussed in the class however Scouts will need to do some "homework" prior to the class in order to have an opportunity to complete this component at the class.  Scouts should come prepared to demonstrate.  Use creativity such as; visual aids, a skit, a song, a poster, arts and crafts, etc., to help with your demonstration. Scouts will be given up to five minutes per Scout for demonstration time to the class.

c. Explain how color and shape are used to help road users recognize and understand the information presented on traffic and roadway signs. Explain the purpose of different types of signs, signals, and pavement markings.

Scouts should review this requirement component and be prepared to explain.  It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have done preparation work and are not just guessing and improvising.

d. Describe at least three examples of traffic laws that apply to drivers of motor vehicles and that bicyclists must also obey.

Scouts should review this requirement component and be prepared to discuss  Be prepared with examples to share during the class.

 

5. Do ONE of the following:

a. Interview a traffic law enforcement officer in your community to identify what three traffic safety problems the officer is most concerned about. Discuss with your merit badge counselor possible ways to solve one of those problems.

b. Using the Internet (with your parent's permission), visit five Web sites that cover safe driving for teenagers. As a group, discuss what you learn with your counselor and at least three other teenagers.

c. Initiate and organize an activity or event to demonstrate the importance of traffic safety.

d. Accompanied by an adult and a buddy, pick a safe place to observe traffic at a controlled intersection (traffic signal or stop sign) on three separate days and at three different times of the day, for 30 minutes on each visit. At this intersection, survey (1) such violations as running a red light or stop sign; or (2) seat belt usage. Count the number of violations or number of drivers not wearing a seat belt. Record in general terms if the driver was young or old, male or female. Keep track of the total number of vehicles observed so that you can determine the percentage of compliance vs. violations. Discuss your findings with your merit badge counselor.

Requirement 5a is planned to be covered, but can not be guaranteed, as a law enforcement officer's availability is not always predictable, Scouts wanting to ensure completion of this requirement in the class should pick one of the other three options for Requirement 5 and have it ready for the class. Scouts should bring proof of any work done for consideration by the counselor for sign off and completion, just saying you did something isn't always enough to meet the satisfaction of the counselor, it is always best to have supporting documentation of your work.

 

this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015