Taylor and Rotary Club celebrate safe driving

Published 6:47 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Melinda Taylor, local State Farm insurance agent, came to Rotary Tuesday to promote and encourage the State Farm nationwide campaign Celebrate My Drive. The campaign will take place the week of October 15-24, at which time everyone over the age of 14 is urged to go to the on-line registration and make a daily commitment to being a safe driver.

Taylor said there could be good things in store for our local high school, as the 100 high schools that receive the most commitments will be awarded a total of $3.25 million in grants. Two schools will receive a $100,000 grant and a grand prize concert by Grammy nominated The Band Perry; eight schools will receive a $100,000 grant, while 90 schools will get a $25,000 grant. Ten percent of the grant received by the schools must be committed to teen driver safety programs, the rest goes to any purpose the school determines.

All that is necessary is to go to www.celebratemydrive.com , where Bainbridge High School is already registered. Click on that site and make the pledge to drive more safely. This commitment is to be made each day of that week.

Email newsletter signup

Taylor cited statistics regarding the dangers of texting and driving, referring to it as  Driving while Intexticated.

She said 23 percent of crashes in 2011 involved the use of cell phones while driving. “Taking as little as five seconds off your attention while driving 55 miles per hour, is equal to driving the length of a football field blindfolded,” cautioned Taylor. Yet 77 percent of young drivers think it is “no big deal” to text or talk on the phone while driving, and 55% even say it is easy to do both.

Unfortunately, this is not just a teen problem, as Taylor pointed out 27 percent of adults admit to doing the same and 48% of kids say they have been in a car when a parent was texting while driving. They are simply mimicking the behavior they see.Obtaining a driver’s license is a huge milestone in a teen’s life and calls for celebration, hence the name of the competition, “Celebrate My Drive.” However,  more teens die from car crashes than any other cause, and the first year is the most dangerous, according to information provided by Taylor.

It is the goal of StateFarm to change those numbers.