According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed “3,477 lives in 2015 alone” in the United States. NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system – anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.” Although these actions may seem like harmless driving habits, clearly they can lead to major and irreversible consequences.
Over the past few weeks, the Integrated English and AP World History students, Mrs. Trongard’s AP Government, Economics, and Mentoring (GEM) students, and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) have come together to lower this number by endorsing safe driving throughout Oceanside. To kick off the PSA, the Integrated and GEM classes created a video speaking on the importance of safe driving and what precautions both drivers and pedestrians can take to keep our community safe. This video was then shown to the district’s younger students to inform them of this issue.
Pre-k students all the way up to sixth graders also participated in the PSA by creating posters discouraging texting and driving, drinking and driving, etc. The Integrated students then hung these signs all around Oceanside in stores and restaurants as well as on lampposts and telephone polls. Posters hung inside of stores and restaurants were also accompanied by a flyer stating the purpose of the PSA. The signs were posted just in time for Halloween in the hopes that drivers would be especially careful on this holiday because many children would be out and about on the streets. The purpose of the signs being made by these young students was not only to get them involved in this district-wide project, but also to persuade drivers to observe proper driving practices to help keep children safe. In addition, SADD created a pledge to not text and drive that high school students and faculty were able to sign in the OHS lobby.
The goal of the safe driving campaign was to bring the community together by promoting this important cause, and indeed the PSA was a success. Mrs. Trongard described, “It was great to see the high school and elementary students work together to have a positive impact in the community.” Although this PSA has come to an end, you have not seen the last of these community projects. When Mrs. Trongard’s students finished putting up the posters, they asked, “What’s next?” This PSA was a part of a year-long focus on “solutionary thinking.” Rather than simply learning about issues our community faces, students are taking action. So keep an eye out for the next solutionary project, and remember that the best way to support a cause is to get involved!
Check out the PSA video featuring the AP Integrated sophomores and Mrs. Trongard’s AP GEM seniors: https://youtu.be/eHYFVvVOfFg.
Check out the Campaign on Driver & Pedestrian Safety flyer: K-6-PSA-Campaign-Flyer.pdf.
Check out the Text Free Driving pledge: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_1hzKI-7RNDHu_Uu7wjSvuMZoXa29QBA.
Thank you to Mrs. Tronard, Mrs. Frasca, Mr. Bickman, and Ms. O’Hara for allowing me to document this project.