Teens impacted by driving project

Bellefontaine High School students participated Wednesday in an Impact Teen Drivers Day related to a project led by three BHS DECA students, Brenda Johnson, Cayden DeMent and Dean Smith. 

BrandonStandley-BenStahler

Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler and Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley speaking on the school’s TV station WBCS for the morning announcements. (PHOTO | BELLEFONTAINE HIGH SCHOOL)

The day began with Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler and Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley speaking on the school’s TV station WBCS for the morning announcements. Mayor Stahler proclaimed the day as a city-wide Impact Teen Drivers Day. 

After the announcements, the public service announcement Sydnee’s Story was shown about a 16-year-old distracted driver who lost her life just a few miles away from home. Sydnee’s parents are now advocates for the Impact Teen Drivers organization.

During lunch hours, a booth was set up for students to make a safe driving pledge and learn more about Impact Teen Drivers. A photo booth also was available for students to take their picture in the Impact Car. 

The Impact Teen Drivers campaign will continue throughout the year.

Inspiration for the DECA chapter to create the Public Relations Project was a result of attending an Impact Teen Drivers assembly at the school in October. Following the assembly, the entire Bellefontaine DECA chapter has promoted Impact Teen Drivers throughout the school.

Also related to this effort, Brenda, Cayden and Dean will write a 30-page Public Relations Project paper and compete at The Ohio DECA State Conference March 13 in Columbus.

The students note that crashes are more common among young drivers than any other age group. In the United States, one in four crash fatalities involve someone 16 to 24 years old, nearly twice as high as other age groups. 

Teen driver crashes are the leading cause of death for youths in the U.S. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions. 

The Bellefontaine High School DECA Chapter consists of 49 students, and they are advised by Katie Rychener.