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School Carnival For Distracted Driving Awareness

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 264

4-1-14 ROWVAStudents at ROWVA High School are putting money they received late last year from a national contest to good use.

The students celebrated April Fool’s Day today with a carnival, paid for with some of the $25,000 won through the “Celebrate My Drive Challenge” last fall that encourages students to practice safe driving habits like buckling up — part of the school’s “Code Red” initiative.

ROWVA Senior Ranae Damer helped organize the day, and tells WGIL there was one obvious caveat to holding the carnival.

“We told the children that they would get a safe driving carnival but we obviously had to relate everything to safe driving, but we still wanted that carnival effect,” says Damer. “We really wanted the Velcro wall, we really wanted the bungee run but we had to relate it to safe driving.”

The Velcro wall, for example, was used as a means to demonstrate being ejected from a vehicle. So-called “drunk goggles” were used in an inflatable jousting competition.

But it wasn’t all games. The Illinois State Police took part in various workshops that included drunk and distracted driving demonstrations. Prairie Central Junior Leah Zorn tells WGIL she knows there’s some things that are a very bad idea to do when behind the wheel.

“Texting and driving, and snapchatting and driving, things that I would never think of but things that other drivers obviously do and it’s kind of scary to think about those drivers on the road,” says Zorn.

The rules stated that roughly 10-percent of the winnings had to be used for a fun activity, but several students say they still learned how dangerous distracted driving can be.