Lake Shore High students campaign for their classmates to become better drivers

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Lake Shore High School senior Skylah Buford signs the safe driving pledge.

Students are given wristbands to commit to safe driving.

Photo provided by Janice Radlick

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — About a third of students don’t wear seat belts regularly, according to a recent survey by marketing students at Lake Shore High School.

However, they changed that with their participation in this year’s Strive for a Safer Drive (S4SD) initiative.

Presented by Ford Driving Skills for Life and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the campaign aims to reduce serious traffic crashes, injuries and deaths among teens.

As part of the campaign, high school marketing students conducted a seat belt survey, counting the number of students wearing seat belts as they left the school parking lot. They also asked students about their knowledge and attitudes regarding driving under the influence, which is one of the topics of this year’s campaign.

“It’s kind of crazy how many students don’t wear seatbelts, and we hope the campaign will show people that they need to be more careful when driving, because the statistics on teenage drivers don’t are not in our favour,” said Emma VanDenstorm, a senior at the school.

When marketing students audited seat belt usage at parking lot entrances, they found that 67.5% of students wore their seat belts, but 32.5% did not.

“Once we finish the events, we hope for better numbers,” VanDenstorm said.

More than 40% of students attending the school in person — 409 out of nearly 1,000 — have signed the Safe Driving Pledge, said Janice Radlick, the school’s marketing teacher. When students surveyed seatbelt use again on March 31, the results were quite different: 131 students were buckled up, while 30 were not, for a total of 81.4% wearing the belt. of security.

“The students were very pleased that their campaign resulted in a tangible change in student behavior,” Radlick said in an email message.

The school applied for the competition in the fall and received $1,000 to organize the events, which ran from February to April 1. More than 50 schools across the state are participating in this year’s event.

Students at Lake Shore High School were able to experience what it is like to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol, held a safe driving quiz and had students sign a commitment to safe driving.

“Teen drivers, of course, are the riskiest drivers of all groups,” Radlick said. “We think it changes their attitudes, committing to safe driving.”

Driving the simulator was harder than she thought, VanDenstorm said.

“It was really hard to concentrate, especially with the drunk glasses,” she said. “It was really hard to keep control of the vehicle while doing it.”

The school participated in S4SD in 2019, placing third out of 63 schools in the state. They competed again in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic halted the rest of that campaign.

This year’s winners will be announced in April. To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/S4SD.

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