Not even a cloud burst could dampen the fun at the 2nd Annual Teen Day Fuquay event held on Saturday, May 5, at the Fuquay-Varina Community Center. The Fuquay-Varina Police Department hosted the free Drive Wise event to make teens (ages11-18) aware of the dangers of alcohol and distracted driving. The facts are startling: motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among 15-20 year olds, 31 percent of drivers ages 15-20 killed in car crashes had been drinking alcohol, and drivers who text are 8 times more likely to be involved in car accidents.
Instead of posters and pamphlets the program uses hands-on and high tech simulation stations that drive home the realities of distracted driving. Teens visited nine pledge stations that included a distracted driving simulator, pedal carts, and a seat belt convincer.
The first 500 teens received a t-shirt after visiting seven of the nine stations and signed a Teen Day Fuquay Pledge card promising they would not drink or text while driving. The day also included a dramatic car crash rescue demonstration by the Fuquay-Varina Fire Department and the Wake County EMT’s.
Teens were also treated to a pizza lunch, prizes, a rock wall, obstacle course, and music. In talking to teens I was convinced that the message of safe driving was “driven” home. When asked “What have you learned from this event?” Savannah Stokes and Caroline Johnson replied, “To not drink and drive!” Shannon Lyons added “That being responsible is important.”
The hands-on experience of driving impaired and the car crash rescue made a memorable impression on the teens. Most teens said they will be more careful when driving. Fun and facts about distracted driving “steered” teens to make wiser choices and hopefully, as our pledge stated, enjoy a “life full of endless possibilities.”