Don’t Drive Stupid.
The message is spreading throughout our community and is starting at the Morgan High School after a campaign started earlier this year. The Zero Fatalities’ Don’t Drive Stupid, peer-to-peer program is aimed at preventing fatalities through awareness.
This year Morgan High welcomed this program and worked hard to educate students. Through their efforts they were awarded one of five $1,000 cash awards. $250 is designated for drivers education and the other $750 can be used however the school sees fit.
With claps and cheers from the student body, Katie Marble of Zero Fatalities presented the student body officers with a giant check and a traveling trophy on Thursday, May 19, at the beginning of their yearly talent assembly. A plaque on the trophy that has made its way around Utah since 2009 will remain at Morgan High until next year, at which time we hope Morgan receives the honor and prize again.
After the students received the trophy and the big check, both in size and amount, the students carried on happily with their talent show. The students could cheerfully gather together for a fun day spent celebrating each other.
Many schools around the area have had to deal with the pain of losing a peer to a car accident. Morgan High has been lucky to avoid such a tragedy and the Don’t Drive Stupid program hopes to continue this streak with awareness. As the school year is winding down and fun activities like this assembly are capping off a great school year, the students are able to enjoy the fun without the sadness of missing students due to vehicle fatality.
It is important for all to stay vigilant of safe driving practices. The 100 deadliest days begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. During this time fatality stats dramatically rise.
The Don’t Drive Stupid program teaches safe driving habits as well as inspires passengers to encourage others to be safe as well. Whether it is asking others to buckle up or to slow down or any other safety precaution, students are empowered to keep themselves, as well as others, safe.
Morgan High was selected based on their participation and reporting in the program. They have held some kind of activity each month to bring awareness to safe driving. Some of the activities included a parent/teen night, where they learned about safe driving; a seatbelt convincer where students were able to ride in a simulated auto accident to feel its force and the need for seatbelts; headstones placed around the school grounds to bring awareness of automobile fatalities; a crashed car on display at the high school showing the students a terrible wreck but the outcome was okay as the driver was buckled in and walked away; as well as activities organized by the MHS student body officers.
Mandy Webb, Weber-Morgan Health Department community health education specialists, has worked hard at bringing this program to Morgan High, as well as the Click It Club for Morgan Elementary School. She has been thrilled with the great reception from the principals at both schools, as well as Shasta Breshears and the student body officers at the high school. Webb has enjoyed working with everyone and has felt great support from everyone involved from faculty to students.
The other four schools that also received a cash prize are: Lehi High School, Sky View High School, Millard High School and Corner Canyon High School. These schools are dedicated to bringing awareness to the dangers of driving.
Since 94 percent of all car crashes are human error, it is empowering to know how to avoid accidents. The Zero Fatalities’ Don’t Drive Stupid program is working with locals to give the Morgan High student body this information.
The program focuses on five deadly behaviors that contribute to most fatalities. They are: aggressive driving, distracted driving, impaired driving, drowsy driving and not buckling up.
Each of the activities Morgan High held in connection with the Don’t Drive Stupid campaign expounded at least one of the above messages.
“This is personal for me,” Katie Marble said of what the program teaches. She works with families each year who have lost a teen to an automobile accident.
Every year parents and other family members celebrate amazing lives lost to car accidents in the Teen Memoriam. Heartbreaking stories of teens who lived around the state who have lost their lives are shared. These stories give brief glimpses of teens who had talents, hobbies, skills, families, friends, etc. The stories help the readers understand a bit about how these teens lived, and they also help the reader understand how those precious lives were taken too early. Stories explain things such as how a seatbelt could have made the difference of a daughter coming home again or how a teen lost her life because of a drunk driver.
The Teen Memoriam and information about safe driving can be found at Don’tDriveStupid.com