Program encourages students to pay attention to distractions

Program encourages students to pay attention to distractions


Program encourages students to pay attention to distractions



The Pennsylvania DUI association visited Shaler Area high school on October 5 for an assembly on distracted driving among teens.

The impact teen drivers assembly is held at schools all over Pennsylvania. The association’s main focus is to inform teenage drivers on all dangers they could face at the wheel while a heavy emphasis is placed on texting and driving.

“I want to create awareness. If I can cause one person to think and prevent one crash by standing here for an hour, I would do that everyday of my life,” Jim Gregg, presenter for the DUI association said.

Gregg is also a supervisor with the state police. He became involved with the DUI association as a presenter for the 2016-2017 campaign. After reviewing the material, he was compelled. He realized the importance of educating teenagers on the topic and agreed to help with the programs right away.

Gregg believes the assembly went extremely well. It went on for 45 minutes and consisted of videos of families affected by distracted driving deaths and activities calculating a student’s chance of dying behind the wheel. A strong message was delivered to the students.

“I had several students come up to me and thank me which doesn’t normally happen with young people, and that’s worth the price of me showing up right there,” Gregg said.

The DUI association recently revised the “What do you consider lethal?” campaign which began a couple of years ago. The whole idea behind the campaign is to educate students that reckless and distracted driving among teens is their leading cause of death in America, but is 100% preventable.

“We are very proud of it. We continue to try and get people involved. This campaign started in conjunction with the Graduated License Program,” Gregg said.

The Graduated License Program was designed to provide new drivers the proper experience needed, before taking on the road by themselves. First, drivers receive a learner’s permit for six months. This requires drivers under the age of 18 to drive with an adult over the age of 21 in the car. After six months, drivers can test for their intermediate license. This license comes with restrictions like curfew and number of passengers. Lastly, drivers can receive their adult license once they turn 18.

These programs and regulations are all behind the motive to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Since the start of the “What do you consider lethal?” campaign, there have been major decreases in things like drinking and texting while driving. However, there is still work to do.

“Even if we have a 25% decrease with texting and driving, it’s still going to be the most lethal way for teens to die which would just be insane because it is preventable,” Gregg stated.


More USA TODAY High School Sports