By Sephanie Malench, Reporter
The Collinsville-Maryville-Caseyville Rotary Club in partnership with the Illinois State Police and the Collinsville Police Department is proud to announce its 2nd annual Metro East Teen Driver Safety Days Event at the Gateway Center in Collinsville on October 8-10th.
Last year’s event hosted 900 sophomore students from Collinsville, Triad, Freeburg, Belleville East and Belleville West High Schools in 2 days. This year’s events are being expanded to 3 days in order for more schools to attend. The CMC Rotary’s goal is to have 1,500 students attend this year.
There is no cost for schools to attend, but they must provide their own transportation to and from the Gateway Center. The mission of the event is to reduce the number of youthful driver accidents in the Metro East
The event consists of 7 presentations and hands on activities during the 6 hour event to supplement the driver’s education curriculum in schools. Each day a different group of students attends.
Presenters include S.A.F.E, a group of paramedics and fire fighters from the Miami, Dade County FL area on the hazards of alcohol and drugs, distracted driving, excessive speed and seat belt use, Sarah Panzau on the consequences of her decision to drive drunk early one morning in 2003 at the age of 21, Illinois Department of Transportation on work zone safety and the Illinois State Police on motorcycle safety.
Activities include driving simulations of driving while under the influence of alcohol and while texting, Seat Belt Convincer, and No Zone blind spot display.
The event is modeled after a similar event in Williamson County that began in 2009. Pre- and Post event surveys combined with IDOT crash statistics show a dramatic drop in crashes involving teenaged drivers.
The City of Collinsville is able to donate the Gateway Center for the 3 day event thanks to the sponsorships of State Farm, Golden TBD Distributing, Ameren, and the Fairview Heights Elks.
Schools scheduled to attend this year include Collinsville, Triad, Belleville East, Belleville West, Highland, and Madison. Administrators looking to sign their school up should contact Steve Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618)301-4406.