Peer Leaders and SADD Put a Stop to Texting While Driving

Allison Langh

SADD and Peer Leaders handed out "Drive Text Free" thumb bands to students during lunches. Photo by Allison Langh

By Allison Langh
During the week of April 25th through the 29th, Peer Leaders and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) clubs initiated a campaign against distracted driving at Hopkinton High School.  With all of the new driving laws being passed, the clubs wanted to seize the opportunity to teach fellow students about visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.  “I think texting is the biggest issue, but there are new distractions affecting drivers as well,” stated SADD advisor Stacey Place.

During lunches, students were asked to participate in a voluntary survey about their driving habits as well as their perspectives on distracted driving, and each participant received a texting band.  The bands are meant to be worn around the thumb as a way to remind student drivers to put down their cell phones; they are bright green, as displayed in the photo, and say “TEXT FREE DRIVER”. “One of the SADD members, Skylar Wright, along with Ms. Jill Leach, Peer Leader advisor, first heard about the texting bands and thought they would bring attention to the risks of distracted driving,” commented Mrs. Place.

In addition, bulletin boards around the school were decorated with facts about distracted driving. During morning announcements, students were reminded of the importance of putting away their cellphone and other distractions when they are behind the wheel.

Peer Leaders and SADD not only informed the students of the dangers of texting while driving, but they also educated parents of the community.  Students distributed handouts with key facts and information to parents dropping and picking up their children from the high school.

Overall, HHS students responded positively to the campaign.  Many participated in the survey and were spotted wearing the bright green texting bands in the hallways. “I think we got through to a lot of students, especially the new junior drivers about the dangers. The bands were awesome as a reward, but also acted as a conversation starter for students in and out of school,” said Chelsea Adams, SADD officer.

A Peer Leaders member stated, “Texting and driving and distracted driving in any form are part of the awareness, but the main idea is to preserve a student’s safety from his or her own actions. It is all about helping the youth make the right decisions and informing them to help them make those decisions more often than not.”