In a world where bad news seems to dominate the headlines, there is a group that has used that information to make positive changes. The youth of Johnston County have come together to plan a N.C. Teen Drivers Summit where teens, their parents and administrators can come together and learn how to reduce teen deaths on our roadways.
Johnston County has experienced numerous teen fatalities and injuries in the past several years. For the five year period of 2008 - 2012, Johnston County lost 23 teens and ranked 4th in the state in the number of teen fatalities.
Three years ago, a peer program was developed to help lower those numbers and JoCo Teen Drivers has been so successful in spreading the message about the dangers of distracted driving that they want to share it with others through the first N.C. Teen Drivers Summit on April 20 at JCC. The number of fatalities in Johnston County has dropped from 11 in 2007 to two in 2012.
The focus of the summit will be increasing awareness about youth traffic safety including distracted driving as well as instruction on how to develop a peer-to-peer safe driving program in high schools.
The JoCo Teen Drivers program focuses on five safety factors, including wearing a safety belt at all times, driving at or below the speed limit, avoiding distractions while driving, limiting driving at night and never getting into a car with anyone who has been drinking alcohol.
The N.C. Teen Drivers Summit will feature several speakers that will share their personal experiences on how unsafe driving has affected their lives with attendees. Speakers include Will Craig from AT&T, Joel Feldman of EndDD.org and Lisa Mozingo who will speak about the dangers of not wearing a seat belt.
Emcees for the event are Lynda Loveland from MIX 101.5 and former UNC basketball player and coach Phil Ford. Breakout sessions will include information about teens becoming motivated to make changes, how to implement programs like JoCo Teen Drivers in high schools and distracted driving demonstrations and vendor presentations.
West Johnston High School students Alli Powers and Zach Leonard have chaired the Johnston County Leadership Team in the planning of this event and have been aided by the JoCo Teen Drivers Committee which includes community members Charlie Parrish and Lynda Carroll. The effort has received support from the Johnston County Commissioners, Johnston County Schools and the NC Department of Public Safety.
“Although this is not a sponsored State Highway Patrol event, I feel that it’s imperative that you be aware of the efforts that high school students, parents and administrators are putting forth to prevent needless injuries and deaths on North Carolina highways,” stated First Sergeant Jeff Gordon of the Highway Patrol.
For students attending, there will be a drawing for two $500 scholarships. The summit will end with a Mock Car Crash presented by VIP with assistance from the 50-210 Volunteer Fire Department and EMS.
For more details about the scholarships, the speakers and the summit, visit www.jocoteendrivers.com.
Contact Mary Lahr Cain at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.