Students learn dangers of drinking, texting, driving

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2014


More than 500 Andalusia High School students kicked off a campaign directed at distracting driving and teen driver safety.

An AHS Peer Helper project, in which the organization partnered with State Farm: Celebrate My Drive to raise awareness on safe driving, will be held through Oct. 24 in conjunction with national teen driver safety week.

“We always try to do a program with safe driving awareness week,” Peer Helper sponsor Charlotte Spurlin said. “We have new drivers all the time.

“We’re a high school and every day someone is getting a permit or driver’s license,” she said. “We have an obligation to each other to become better drivers.”

Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks and Deputy Joe Schneider participated in the event by providing vision impairment goggles, or “beer goggles,” for the students to use on pedal cars.

A course of cones was set up for students to take the pedal cars through while texting or wearing the goggles.

“At first, it was a little tricky, but right in the middle I got the hang of it,” junior Noah Rabren said about the texting and driving course.

“It’s pretty hard,” sophomore Bryce Dubose said. “I hit a kid.”

Footballs and cones were used to demonstrate how taking your eye off “the road” for a second makes a huge difference.

Some of the goggles simulated the vision of someone under the influence of alcohol double the legal limit.

Peer group member Julia Smith said she couldn’t see anything while wearing the “beer goggles” and ran over many cones.

“Hopefully it’s a deterrent from drinking and driving,” Deputy Schneider said.

The National Guard was present with its spider tent, pedal cars and jousting inflatable for the awareness event.

The students were directed to the spider tent by members of the Peer Helpers group to register with State Farm, take the safe driver pledge and vote for AHS to receive possible grants.

Peer group members were available to teach other students how to sign up and vote from iPads and cell phones.

The Peer Helpers will also hold a Stick It to Win competition on Saturday from 8 until, for a chance to win $200.

Students, who have signed the safe driving pledge and voted for AHS through State Farm, will hold their eyes and hands on a school bus that will be parked on the front lawn until only one student remains.

The event is a demonstration on how students should be driving and correlates to the theme for the State Farm program 2N2: two eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel.

Spurlin said that 125 students had already signed up for the event.