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Anna Moody is another one of our honorable mentions who submitted an essay to our AIEZ Driver Safety Scholarship Contest. Her entry touches on the need to make driver education a mandatory part of school curriculum, and emphasizes how influential local communities can be with regard to helping young motorists drive safely. Her entry is below.
An unknowledgeable driver is harmful to many people in a community. When a driver controls an automobile while he is texting, drunk, or even speeding, he puts his life and the lives of anyone on the road in danger. It is important for communities to inform the residents of the consequences of unsafe driving.
This education must start in the beginning of children’s educational career. Driver safety should be taught in the classroom as an important topic. School districts must enforce elementary, middle, and high schools to teach courses on this important part of life. By being actively exposed to driver safety information, students will be able to remember and use the information that they were taught. This can be anything from how to stay away from an unsafe driver on the road, to recognizing that the student himself had alcohol and is unfit to drive. Communities can have police visit the schools and discuss real-life experiences they had with unsafe drivers. This would capture the student’s attention by having a professional come to talk to them about the dangers a cop faces each day.
The towns can also have a night each year to honor the people that died due to traffic-related injuries. On this night, the town will come together to share the memories of the dead loved ones. By exposing citizens to the grief that the town feels, the people will reflect on how their driving may affect their loved ones. The town must also train their police force to be harsher when they are trying to uphold the law. When an officer sees a car that is speeding, he must stop the driver and give him a ticket. During these dangerous times, the police must keep a strict law in order to influence the community to drive more safely. It is important for drivers to feel the fear of being pulled over to train them to drive more carefully.
The city council can also run safe driving information sessions throughout the neighborhood. The creation and distribution of pamphlets about driving is a cheap and fast way to spread information to adults. A fun way to teach the citizens of the consequences is to have a “Relay for Life” to raise money for the hospital bills for the victims of unsafe drivers or for the families of dead drivers. There should be booths that teach runners about different aspects of driving. Police can bring in police cars for kids to look at. It is important for the city to come together in a positive atmosphere to share the experience of learning to be safe drivers.
Unsafe drivers affect citizens every day on psychological and physical ways. Every time a driver gets into his car, he is never sure if today is the day that he will be involved in a car crash. He worries about his little girl that is in the backseat; if someone hits his car, will she be ok? Will he be able to watch her grow up? If the community wants to feel safe on the roads, they need the city or town leadership to help make that happen. There are many ways to persuade a driver to control his car in a safer way. This job starts with one individual who wants to make a difference. The question is not who or how, but when.