The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 8, 2013

New program will target young, distracted drivers

MILTON — Beginning in the fall, middle school students across the Valley will be learning important lessons about how to stay alert and focused when on the road.

Donna Bridge, president and chief executive officer of Kingdom Kidz, said the program, ”Steer Clear of Distracted Driving,” is a collaboration between Kingdom Kidz and the Lawton Insurance Agency in Milton. It aims to reach young people as they prepare for driving lessons and being passengers in friends’ cars.

“If we get the students before they begin driving, they’ll become more aware of these things as they head into driving lessons,” Bridge said. “And not only will they be driving, but they are passengers and passengers can be distractions.”

The interactive program will launch in the fall and have several elements, including a puppet program and a question-and-answer panel featuring an insurance agent, a community police officer and a parent or sibling of a teen who has been killed or seriously injured by distracted driving, Bridge said.

The idea for the program came after Bridge met Steve Everitt, an agent with Lawton Insurance, at a recent business networking event, Bridge said.

Distracted driving is a huge problem for drivers of all ages, but particularly teens, Everitt said.

“I don’t think we’re focused enough on it,” he said. “We see it as an insurance agency, and it is a real problem.”

In 2011, 3,331 people nationwide were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Texting, using a cell phone, eating and drinking, grooming and adjusting the radio are among activities that can distract drivers.

About 11 percent of all teen fatalities are related to distracted driving, the highest percentage of any age group, according to NHTSA data.

In Union, Snyder, Montour and Northumberland counties, about 11 percent of all crashes from 2007 to 2011 — the most recent data available — were related to distracted driving, according to state Department of Transportation data.

“It only takes a second taking your eyes off the road,” Everitt said. “And cell phones are probably the worst offender.”

Bridge said the program aims to not only educate young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving but help them recognize and combat distracted driving in others.

The success of lessons imparted in Kingdom Kidz programs makes Bridge confident the program will reach children and make a difference.

“You would not believe how many parents have come to us and said, ‘You know, a song or something that you said, our children are telling us about it,’” she said. “‘Sesame Street’ did an excellent job to show how education and puppetry go hand in hand.”

If the program can impact just one young person, it will be worth it, Bridge said.

“If we can save one life, it’s worth it,” she said.

Kingdom Kidz programs are in 29 schools in Northumberland, Lycoming, Snyder and Montour counties, Bridge said.

The program, which will be rolled out over three years in each school, is looking for sponsors. Interested individuals or businesses may call Bridge at 742-0379 or visit the website at www.hiskingdomkidz.org.

1
Text Only
News
  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

  • Line Mountain district, teachers $1.2M apart in contract talks

    MANDATA — Separate proposals from the Line Mountain School District and its teachers union are $1.2 million apart and not getting any closer, according to Benjamin L. Pratt, the district’s labor counsel at the CGA Law Firm.

    July 29, 2014

  • Road work: Expect traffic delays on Route 54 near Danville

    RIVERSIDE — Motorists in the Danville-Riverside area are advised that a 2.2-mile micro-surfacing project on Route 54 from Riverside borough to Boyd Station in Northumberland County will begin this afternoon.

    July 29, 2014

  • Blood trail leads to stabbing suspect in Montour County

    DANVILLE — Borough police followed a trail of blood along a sidewalk, up a staircase and down a hallway that led to a moaning woman who they say knifed another woman Sunday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Spencer_Maria1.jpg Maria Spencer charged with murdering her ex-husband

    SELINSGROVE — On Monday, a little more than two years after Frank Spencer was executed outside his Columbia County home, his former wife and her father were charged in his murder and the attempted homicide of Spencer’s girlfriend.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.