“Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2012 alone, 3,328 were killed in distracted driving crashes,” according to the Official U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving (distraction.gov).
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Minnesota School of Business-Elk River (MSB) took a day to recognize and help to spread awareness about this continuing issue. The staff and faculty set up a course in the student commons and asked students to drive a “Green Machine” through the course while texting the message, “On my way. Be there soon,” and dodging objects that they encountered.
Students were also served “mocktails” and had an array of information to take away from the event that were provided by the Sherburne County Safe Roads Coalition, Substance Use Prevention Coalition, and the Traffic Safety Coalition. Jennifer Pim of the County Attorney’s Office was able to assist at the event as well by chatting with students and answering questions that they had.
The course was intended to demonstrate the dangers of texting and driving as well as driving with other distractions and impairments. Several students, staff, and faculty members participated in the event throughout the day. There was even a contest for the fastest and safest driver to make it through the course.
The winner of the driving contest chose the safest route there is. Tanner Paige, information technology student, chose to not text the required message until he had safely navigated the course. He took a time penalty but ended up winning in the end with the fastest time and safest finish of all of the drivers. Way to go, Tanner!
Liz Patton, college representative, was able to participate and shared her thoughts on the event as a whole by saying, “While the event was fun for students, staff and faculty to participate in, it helped to bring light to the danger of distracted driving by showing how difficult driving safely while texting really is.”
MSB-Elk River is dedicated to the safety of our students and we ask that you join us as we continue to raise awareness about this issue and many others. For more information about Distracted Driving Awareness or if you’d like to help, check out: http://distraction.gov, http://www.nsc.org/pages/home.aspx, or contact Roxanne Schreder at the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office at: Roxanne.Schreder@co.sherburne.mn.us.