04/13/11 — Teens urged to drive safely

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Teens urged to drive safely

By Staff Reports
Published in News on April 13, 2011 1:46 PM

A program to promote safe driving will be presented at several area high schools as a preventive measure against teen deaths in car accidents.

VIP for a VIP program -- Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person -- is a fast-paced program made possible through a collaboration between Wayne County Public Schools, the Sheriff's Office, Wayne County Emergency Services, several fire departments and the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

It consists of a testimony from area emergency services, video and PowerPoint presentations in the school's auditorium, followed by an outdoors re-enactment of a fatal car accident.

The first of the series was presented at Spring Creek High School earlier this past week. It is scheduled to be at Rosewood High on May 2 and then at Southern Wayne High on May 5. Other schools will host events in the next school year, officials said.

Students and parents will also be encouraged to complete and return a "VIP Contract for Life" which asks the student to adhere to safe driving, a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol, and calling the parent before driving impaired. Parents are also encouraged to respond respectfully to assure the student gets home safely.

"It is better for students to be exposed to the very dangerous consequences of poor driving habits within an educational environment, rather than through firsthand experiences while driving down a road," said Chris Barnes, WCPS security director. "Wayne County Public Schools is appreciative of this multi-agency effort to promote safe driving among teens and reduce the number of accidents involving younger inexperienced drivers.

"It is our hope that this program will help motivate students to use good judgment behind the wheel and develop safe driving habits that will last them a lifetime."