Thursday, January 25, 2001

Students pledge motor safety

Teen-agers make driving promise

By Patrick Stack
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Reading High School students today will be making safety pledges on the hood of a car.

        As part of a statewide effort to improve teen-age driving safety, students will get to sign a safe-driving pledge printed on the hood of a 2001 Honda Civic. Along with the pledge, students at the school can enter a safety contest to win a new Civic.

        The event, known as the “My Civic Duty Safe Driving Tour,'' is sponsored by Honda of America and the Safe America Foundation, an Atlanta-based, nonprofit safety advocacy group.

        The pledge asks students to obey speed limits, wear seat belts and limit the number of passengers in the car, among other things.

        “We want to do something where we get to talk with driving-age teen-agers about the responsibilities they have as young drivers,” Safe America spokesman Mark Morrison said.

        Before the signing, Lt. Michael Black, post commander of the Hamilton post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, will offer tips on safe driving for teens, including driving within speed limits and avoiding distractions.

        The main problems for teen drivers are a lack of experience, an being unaware of the potential dan gers in driving, he said.

        There were more than 200 fatal accidents involving teen drivers in Ohio in 2000, Lt. Black said.

        Students at the school can also enter a contest to win a new Honda Civic by taking a 15-question safety test and writing a 50-word essay on auto safety. Twelve finalists selected in May will get to attend driving training at the Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio.

        Out of these, the best driver will receive the car, with other drivers receiving scholarships and other awards, Mr. Morrison said.


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