Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Civitas Media
Ohio State Highway Patrol officer Justin Lister talks to a group of Lorain County JVS students about a crash he responded to involving a Keystone student.
Safety was the top priority last Thursday at a 3-D interactive traffic presentation at the Lorain County JVS.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Lorain County Safe Communities talked to more than 600 students about driving safely and had them take part in a a program called Cinema Drive.
It teaches kids about the safe way to drive: Wear a seat belt, don’t drive and drive, don’t drive tired, don’t text and drive, and keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
The 60-minute movie showed three students who went to a party, started drinking, and the designated driver decided to drink and then drive home. On the way home the two passengers were not buckled up and the driver crashed the vehicle, causing two passengers to be ejected from the car and killed.
Katie Bevan of the Lorain County Health District said distracted driving is so much more than texting and driving.
Using the radio, putting on make-up, eating, and paying attention to passengers in the vehicle are all forms of distracted driving.
“During a crash, people not buckled up are bounced around like pinballs,” Bevan said. “You’re not just injuring yourself but also your loved ones.”
There have been 24 traffic deaths in Lorain County so far this year.
That is 14 more than all of last year.
“The major contributor is alcohol, drugs, seat belt, and speeding,” Bevan said. “Over 50 percent are alcohol and drugs.”
OSHP trooper Justin Lister encouraged students to make the right decision when it comes to driving safely and making it home alive.
“You have to be responsible for your own actions,” he said.
JVS principal Jill Petitti was very excited to host Cinema Drive for the first time in Lorain County and to help increase student awareness of safe driving rules. She said when she started at the JVS almost none of the students wore seat belts and it was her mission to change that.
“They do not leave this parking lot without a seat belt on,” she said.
The video also taught students that a single cup of alcohol can affect your mind and body and five drinks affect your memory.
Students also watched videos telling them:
• Drivers need three seconds to respond to another driver stopping.
• Always make sure you can see the back tires of a vehicle
• Don’t text and drive
• Speeding is the most common type crash cause among teens.
“We want students to start adopting smart behaviors,” Bevan said.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.