What’s Right With Our Schools: “Teens in the Driver Seat” program brings awareness to distracted driving


- Advertisement -

TWIGGS COUNTY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – High school students in Twiggs county say they’re educating others on the risks of distracted driving.

“We’ve basically been on a mission to inform everyone about the dangers of distractions while driving,” says Taquila Thomas, “Teens in the Driver Seat” advisor.

The distractions that can lead to serious injuries or even death.

Eleventh grader Valerie Mays says, “Mostly I talk to my family members and my younger kids at church.”

Students attending Twiggs County High School are part of “Teens in the Driver Seat,” a program aimed to raise awareness about distracted driving. The program allows students to interact with other students by setting up display tables or simply going over the do’s and don’ts.

Nineth grader Kendarius Allen says, “Like if somebody is drunk in a car and they’re driving, like don’t get in the car with them. If somebody is texting and driving, tell them not to text, just put the phone down and wait.”

The students participate in activities that help them better understand that you have to take responsibility for your actions. For some of the activities, students wore goggles that simulated the view of distracted drivers.

Thomas adds, “We basically set up two lines pretending that you are getting stopped by an officer and what we are trying to show is that it’s not that easy when everyone says oh I can walk the lines. We’re basically showing them that when you’re drunk, you may not be able to walk the lines.”

Some students say it’s a fun learning experience working with the visuals, but it’s not fun when it becomes a reality. What’s right with this school? It has a program that shapes teens into leaders of tomorrow.

“We can actually help them and give them a visual of safety,” twelfth grader Marquez Butler adds.

“I can just think that I actually helped someone save their life,” Mays continues.

The school has been using the program for two years and has been recognized nationally.

  • I recently read your story on Distracted Driving. May I offer some additional information and resources?

    The issue of texting and driving is a dangerous and imminent. Most are familiar with accidents/crashes that occur with teens and their driving. However, there is also an issue with company/fleet vehicles. These vehicles spend more time on the road than personal vehicles. Because the driver is on the clock and working, they will try to “multi-task” and do work other than driving when they are behind the wheel. Emails, phone calls, using apps and texting are often part of a drivers’ workload.

    While many states and legislators are seeking to lower distracted driving by increasing penalties, fees and regulations, there is another option. AT&T “It Can Wait” campaign is an advocacy effort to diminish distracted driving. They have an anti-texting app to be downloaded onto your smartphones. The app is called AT&T DriveMode. They make it available to all drivers for FREE! Our company are the developers of it. We have also developed a product for company cars and business fleets, called FleetMode.

    One area that is rarely discussed is that Georgia has hundreds of State vehicles that inspectors, regulators and the agricultural department use as fleet vehicles, but they do not have the technology to diminish distracted driving. I would love to see Georgia lead by example and use a program, like FleetMode, to block texts, redirect incoming phone calls, and impede all other apps in the State vehicles. If we want our state roads to be safer, let’s start by making our state vehicles safer.