The Telegram
  • Central Valley students commit to drive safely

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  • Central Valley Academy students made a commitment Friday to drive safer, specifically to not drive while distracted.
    Scott Grates, a State Farm insurance agent, conducted a kick-off at the high school to promote the Celebrate My Drive program during National Teen Driver Safety Week, which is observed Oct. 17 to 26.
    As part of the program, the school will be in the running to win a $25,000 to $100,000 grant from State Farm and a free concert by Grammy Award-winner singer Kelly Clarkson.
    Grates said this year they are promoting 2N2, which stands for “Two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road.”
    “We’ve moved away from the old scare tactics,” said Grates, from the large group instruction classroom at CVA, about how to teach students about safe driving. “Students have shown they’re much more open and receptive to awareness. They know what they have to do, but they have to be reminded.”
    Grates said the number one killer of teen drivers has shifted from drunk driving to distracted driving.
    “Distracted driving is way up,” he said. “It’s the world we live in. We got Facebook and email at the palm of our hand.”
    Information regarding safe driving for teenagers was passed out to students who chose to visit the program during their study hall. Students could sign a banner to pledge their commitment to 2N2, which will be hung in the school for the rest of teen driver safety week.
    Also, students could take a driving quiz where they earned a T-shirt if they had all correct answers, and toss beanbags while using a cell phone device. There was also a photo booth as something fun for students to do at the program.
    “I think it’s a very positive method to deliver the message of driving with hands on the wheel, and not texting, for the safety of students,” said Central Valley Academy Principal Renée Rudd. “It’s paramount, and I greatly appreciate what Mr. Grates has offered through this opportunity for the school community to be recognized as a possible winner of the prizes.”
    Brandy Torres, a junior, said she just got her learner’s permit and is currently taking driver’s education courses.
    “I’m learning everything about safety,” she said.
    Ilion Mayor John Stephens presented a proclamation during the event.
    To vote for Central Valley Academy, go to www.celebratemydrive.com and click the “Make a Commitment” button. Follow the instructions, and enter Ilion for the city name and then click on “Central Valley Academy.” Voters can only cast their vote once a day until Oct. 26. Votes could still be cast Friday though the website said it was experiencing technical difficulties.
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