Youth Council launches ‘don’t text and drive’ project

The Rochester Hills Government Youth Council has received a $2,000 grant to create a teen-led traffic safety campaign aimed at educating their classmates.

The program, Strive For A Safer Drive, is a teen driving initiative aimed at reducing serious traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities among Michigan’s most inexperienced drivers – teens. It is a partnership between AAA Michigan, Ford Driving Skills for Life and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The Youth Council has launched a series of activities focused on educating students at Rochester, Adams and Stoney Creek high schools on the dangers of distracted driving. Currently, over 300 teens have signed the pledge to not to text while driving. Those signing the pledge received a “Don’t Text & Drive” thumb band as a visible reminder of their promise.

Two activities are currently being planned to raise awareness, including a two-week competition from ending February 15 where students are asked to submit a poster, video, song, or anything that will promote no texting while driving. The top three winners from each school will receive Visa gift cards. Winning videos or songs will be played as part of the school’s announcements, and posters will be hung throughout the halls.

“We are a small group of kids trying to make a large impact, and what better way to do that than promote safe driving among teens?” says Youth Council Representative Jacqueline Markey. “We want teens to know the extremity of their actions and how vital it is to be fully aware of the road. Even if we only get through to a few people out of the many we are trying to reach, that’s making a difference.”

Following a series of activities, the groups determined to have the top campaigns will be eligible to send students to a free hands-on driving clinic with professional driving instructors.

The campaign will run through March 15. For more information on how you can participate or take the pledge, contact Leanne Scott at the City of Rochester Hills at (248) 656-4630.

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