The Centura Student Council has received first place for points accrued in the Teens in the Driver Seat, a traffic safety education program in Nebraska designed to help teens become safe drivers. This award will give the school $1000 to spend on activities and programs to continue the message of driving safe. Points were awarded for such activities as presentations to the students, posters placed throughout the school, placement of seatbelt signage in the parking lot, conducting surveys on texting and seatbelt use, making a video on seatbelts, and promotion of safe driving habits on Centura Vision to name a few.
Starting in seven Nebraska schools two years ago, the program was brought to Nebraska through a partnership with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, AAA Nebraska, Nebraska Safety Council and the Drive Smart Nebraska Coalition. This year there were 14 schools participating.
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Nebraska teens,” said Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “This program is an opportunity for teens and their sponsors to develop and implement traffic safety programs in their school and community which can instill safe driving habits that they can use for a lifetime.”
Teens in the Driver Seat uses peer-to-peer influence to bring together young drivers, parents, school administrators, communities and other partners to reduce teen crashes on Nebraska roadways. The program addresses both awareness and behavior, using peer pressure as a positive force to promote safe driving habits and reduce the top five risks for teen drivers: nighttime driving speeding, driver distractions such as texting, low seat belt use, and driving while impaired from alcohol or drugs.
The Centura Student Council is comprised of 18 students in grades 9-12. The president is Hannah Adams, vice-president Jordyn Grabowski, and secretary, Makenna Lemburg. They are sponsored by Kay Carpenter, Guidance Counselor for Centura Jr./Sr. High School.