Newton students work to raise awareness

PLEASANT HILL — Newton FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students are raising the awareness that distractions have on driving safely. According to NHTSA, one of every 10 fatal crashes in the U.S. involves distraction, resulting in more than 3,000 deaths per year. The statistics show teen drivers are 44 percent more likely to text while driving. We realize this is true with the student drivers at our school. They were awarded a $1000 grant from Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety (FACTS).

The project involved educating our community about the dangers of distracted driving. The Newton FCCLA Officer Team, consisting of Natalee Carlin, Regina Mikalauskas, Luke Vannus, Hannah Beidelman, Jaden Stine, and Kelley Armentrout worked together on this project entitled, “Life Is Short …Don’t Make It Shorter.”

The entire student body of Newton High School was surveyed to determine their knowledge of the problem. Through announcements, stall talks, posters, and a highway billboard, the student body was made aware of the dangers of distractive driving; then, they were challenged to take a pledge to help eliminate distracted driving. Family members also were encouraged to take the pledge.