Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and Whitemarsh Police Department officials announced a community teen driving collaboration at the high school on Jan. 18, which will be funded by a $7,500 State Farm grant.
“Whether we have a teen driver in our family or not, we should all care about this issue, “ said Lafayette Hill State Farm Agent Lori Henry, who presented the check with State Farm Public Affairs Specialist Dwayne Redd. “When most people think about those affected by teen driver crashes, they think of the teens behind the wheel. We must also consider the significant impact of these crashes on other members of our communities: occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and other road-users.”
Henry, Redd and State Farm presented $2,500 to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and $5,000 to the Whitemarsh Police Officers Benevolent Association as part of the Celebrate my Drive Teen Driving Campaign, which will go toward community programs to deter distracted driving, and to promote safe decisions while behind the wheel.
State Representative Mary Jo Daly, Whitemarsh Police Lt. Fran Wheatley, Sgt. Jeff Nowak, and Ofc. Michael Burton, and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Principal Jason Bacani were on hand for the check presentation, and spoke of the importance of teen driving safety.
Whitemarsh Township Police has already partnered with Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and Germantown Academy to form Student Awareness Forum and Education (S.A.F.E), to create an “honest discussion about the prevalence of students' high risk behavior in the community, and the consequences of such action,” according to the WPD website.
State Farm teen driver safety programs include Celebrate My Drive, Distractions You Can’t Afford, DNT TXT N DRIVE, and the Every 15 Minutes program, which will include crash reenactment on school grounds this spring.
Plymouth Whitemarsh student Emily Katz said that the save driving message is most powerful coming from fellow students.
“I thought that, being a new teen driver, the message would be more strong coming from someone their own age,” Katz said of the programs.