Statistics show that October is the deadliest month for teen drivers with age 16-19 drivers four times more likely to have a fatal car accident than adult drivers. With this in mind, the Fillmore Central FBLA conducted a community service project throughout October to promote safe driving. Several activities within the school took place, which were enforced by the Celebrate My Drive program promoted by State Farm.
To kick-off the Celebrate My Drive community competition in addition to emphasizing the consequences of unsafe driving, the video, “Rearview—Looking Back” was shown on October 14 during a high school assembly. The students were very attentive as five young drivers shared the consequences of teen driving mistakes that either killed friends or caused life-changing injuries.
Mayor Norrie visited the school along with State Farm agents, Craig and Terri Hale, to sign a proclamation encouraging the community to rally around the October 15-24 Celebrate My Drive campaign. The Hales also attended the October FBLA meeting to share the importance of the safe driving program.
On October 15, members of the FBLA, FFA, and FCCLA joined forces to conduct a safety belt check before school. Drivers at all entrances were greeted by student members who provided smarties, a sticker stating, “I buckled up today,” and gift items provided by State Farm to those wearing their seat belt. It was estimated that approximately 80 percent of the drivers that morning buckled up.
The night of the FC/Malcolm football game, the FBLA invited members of the Nebraska State Patrol to demonstrate the seat belt convincer simulator. The patrolmen were pleased with the amount of participants that evening. They also launched nerf footballs and t-shirts promoting safe driving messages to the crowd. The FBLA hosted a table at the football field entrance to encourage attendees to drive safe and provided car air fresheners and other items provided by the Nebraska Safety Council.
The following week, Sergeant Tim Pickering, brought a driving simulator to the high school the afternoon of October 22. Students were able to utilize the simulator and enjoyed watching other students react to the obstacles. Courses included a rural or city setting with situations ranging from slow-moving farm equipment to motorcycles entering blind intersections. Feedback was received from both the simulator and the officer who shared how many points the student would have lost off his/her license. Most students knew when the officer stated, “What is the first thing you should do when you get behind the wheel?” that the answer was to buckle their seat belt.
FBLA members spent hours making signs, flyers, tent cards and public addresses regarding safe driving that were shared throughout the surrounding area. The chapter urged community members to commit to drive safe through the Celebrate My Drive promotion. From October 15-24, the students were reminded to commit on-line by being serenaded during homeroom with music by The Band Perry. Each day, students referred to the leader board to see how FC was ranked in the small school division.
Schools in that division could have up to 750 students in their high school. With an enrollment of approximately 180 students, FC had an uphill battle the first-year of participation in the program, but was ranked in the top 200 schools nationally on the day before the commitments ended. Final results will be posted in December after emails and the official count have been validated. The chapter was pleased to compete so well and felt the project was an overall success in raising awareness of safe driving habits.
Fillmore Central FBLA appreciates the community support of the Celebrate My Drive project.