The National Student Traffic Safety Program (NSTSP) was created in 1956 by the National Commission on Safety Education (NCSE), which was a part of the National Education Association (NEA). Membership in the program was free and schools could just sign up and become a member. The program was underwritten by the NCSE and supported by private sector funds. During this period 11,000 schools became members.

In 1970, with the passage of the OSHA laws and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's motor vehicle safety laws, the NCSE was dismantled and ADTSEA, which was also a part of NEA, assumed leadership of the program. The word Traffic was dropped from the name and the organization became the National Student Safety Program. In 1974-75, the NEA was reorganized and dropped safety from their program. Therefore, ADTSEA severed its ties with NEA to become an independent association.

NSSP was reorganized to assure acceptance of the program in the nation's secondary schools. ADTSEA secured the stamp of approval from the National Association of Secondary School Principals as a recommended program. All secondary schools in the nation are eligible to become members simply by requesting with ADTSEA.

The National Student Safety Program has conducted national conferences. These conferences have been held in various locations throughout the United States. The program at all NSSP Conferences has always been on traffic safety issues, especially those dealing with alcohol and drugs, DWI, and the promotion of the use of safety belts.

Junior and senior high school students of today are bright, energetic, and are filled with new ideas. The National Student Safety Program is the vehicle they use to pull together these ideas to conduct local projects that will help reduce death and injury on our nations highways. This has been a very popular program for junior and senior high school students. Today's youth are looking for organizations they can belong to and work through to make their voices heard. The only thing the NSSP is lacking is full-time leadership and resources from the national level.

The National Student Safety Program (NSSP) is the youth organization of the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA). ADTSEA is a non-profit organization that is over 55 years.