Legislators attend recent stop of Save A Life Tour in district

Group.video Betts.Faraci.Fitzgerald Betts.simulator Group.video2Last week, State Rep. Whit Betts (R-Plymouth, Terryville, Bristol) attended the Save A Life Tour presented at TerryvilleHigh School.

The Save A Life Tour was created in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and drinking and driving, said the release from the legislator. The program uses a state-of-the-art, interactive, hands-on simulation to show students firsthand, the unsafe and often deadly consequences of texting and driving.

 “What a powerful message the Save A Life Tour program imparted to me, the students, and faculty at TerryvilleHigh School. The videotaped stories told by people whose lives were forever changed because they hurt or killed someone because they were texting while driving was very sobering and frightening. After listening to these real life tragedies one clearly understands the unbearable pain and cost that can result from texting while driving a motor vehicle. I applaud TerryvilleHigh School for bringing and highlighting this very important program to its entire school community,” said Betts in his press release.

Betts, joined by Plymouth Mayor Dave Merchant, Plymouth town councilwoman Susan Murawski, school superintendent Ellie Cruz, and Jill Fitzgerald, legislative aide to state Senator Jason Welch, were given a walk-through of the interactive equipment used in the presentation, reported the release. The group then sat in the audience with high school juniors and seniors, to view a video presentation that contained testimony from people whose lives have been affected by distracted drivers, said the release

“The program included video-taped testimonies from people whose lives were affected by accidents involving distracted drivers. The results were as devastating for the individuals who caused the accident as for those who were either victims or the family members of victims. It was a solemn reminder that no one is exempt from this danger today. We should be doing everything we can to make sure our children are aware of the dangers involved in texting and driving. The program the students at TerryvilleHigh School participated in is valuable on many levels. I think parents could learn something as well,” said Sen. Jason Welch, according to the release from the office of Betts.

All high school students began their day gathered in assembly to watch the video presentation of testimonies, said the release. Junior and senior students then spent the day rotating into the auditorium to participate in the interactive simulator which allows students to experience the very real and often fatal consequences of distracted driving.

“What we hope by having this presentation in our Connecticut school system that it will have an impact on young drivers and that they will take the pledge not to text and drive,” said Kathryn Faraci, highway safety supervisor for Connecticut Department of Transportation.

 “I’m grateful for Rep. Betts and Mayor Merchant taking time from their busy schedules to support the safety of our young people,” said Superintendent Ellie Cruz, according the release. “The message of being safe drivers not only for their safety, but also for the safety of others is so important. Having our state legislator, mayor, and town councilwoman here today sends a strong message to our students just how important this issue is.”

 “The important thing is that we continue to see the impact of these types of messaging programs because the students continue to talk about it for weeks following,” said Chris Perkins, said the release. Perkins is a teacher at TerryvilleHigh School and local prevention coordinator for drug free communities. “This program is a great lead into our upcoming mock DUI program later this spring. The reminder of not to drive distracted hits close to home as one of our alumni was hit by a drunk driver two weeks ago. Today’s program reinforces the message, ‘talk early, talk often’ to help our students make good decisions behind the wheel.”

The Department of Transportation through grant funding has brought Save A Life Tour to 30 high schools across the state. Save A Life Tour has been presented to students at over 1,500 colleges and universities and over 300 high schools nationwide in the last 3 years. In a combined effort with the United States Armed Forces, the Save A Life Tour has also traveled to over 150 different military installations in the US and overseas.

For more information, please visit: www.savealifetour.com/distracted.htm

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