Don’t Put Your Life in Jeopardy, Focus Behind the Wheel

How many students heard the message of your project?

Estimated percentage of your student body?

Who has your project aimed to reach?
Freshman class| Sophomore class| Junior class| Senior class| School professionals| Parents| Community at large

Clearly state the objective of your project. 

In our Safe Driving PSA, we wanted to effectively deliver our message of safe driving in a way that could entertain the viewer and also give useful information about how to stay safe behind the wheel. This year’s slogan for Delaware Valley Regional High School’s SADD club was “Don’t put your life in Jeopardy! Focus behind the wheel”. In our PSA, we used the game show, Jeopardy, to cover a variety of safe-driving-related topics which included cell phone usage, distracted driving, seatbelts, driving under the influence, and GDL laws. In this day and age many new drivers aren’t aware of the danger they put themselves in by being on their phone while driving or by getting distracted by avoidable distractions. With our PSA we strive to promote safety by educating people and teenagers alike on the do’s and don’ts of how to operate behind the wheel as well as how to avoid incidents that could put your life in Jeopardy. We linked our video in a QR code and designed keychains that we distributed to local car washes, driving schools, and other small businesses in our area to promote distracted driving awareness and to promote our message of not putting your life in Jeopardy. On top of this project, Delaware Valley Regional High School’s SADD Club has hosted and commanded a variety of specialized weeks and events to continue our spread of awareness of current topics that not only affect teens/high schoolers, but everybody who decides to get behind the wheel. We want our PSA to have a memorable and lasting impact on whoever views it and we hope that whoever sees it can learn something new about how to focus behind the wheel and most importantly, don’t put your life in Jeopardy.

Describe your project and its implementation. 

Our project that we completed this year teaches young drivers and inexperienced drivers to follow safe driving habits. We also are encouraging more experienced drivers to follow the rules of the road and stay safe. As a group we truly hope that every time somebody steps into a car and prepares to drive, they make sure to aim to do so safely. Additionally, our project warns against intoxicated driving. The PSA is aimed to encourage drivers not to “Put Your Life in Jeopardy”. We are encouraging all drivers to make good choices and focusing behind the wheel, therefore driving safely, not driving recklessly, and only driving sober. Limitations are in place for new drivers and we want to ensure that everyone is following them. We are encouraging all drivers to think before they act on the road, and drive carefully. These restrictions are in place for drivers to keep everyone on the road safe. They also prevent car accidents, injury, and damages. There are nearly 43,000 fatal crashes in the United States each year. Many of these crashes are caused by unsafe driving. Our goal is to prevent people from drunk, reckless, and unsafe driving to keep everyone on the road safe. In order to spread awareness we handed out keychains with a QR code to our PSA on the back to students and staff. We also distributed these keychains to local businesses. Additionally, we hosted five presentations encouraging safe driving to our Sophomore classes. We are also distributing water bottles with a safe driving message and wristband to the senior class for graduation, reminding them to celebrate safely. We hope that through the efforts that we make to distribute our message, new drivers will make good habits and drive safely. Furthermore, we also hope that current drivers will influence others to follow rules and drive safely.

School/Community Engagement: 
How did you reach your student body and the community? (examples: connecting with nearby colleges, schools, local police departments, persons affected by teen crashes, local/county/state governments, and local businesses) 

We reached our school community by sending out emails that included the link to our safe driving PSA, helpful safe driving information, a link to the Share the Road Pledge, and more. We also hung up flyers in the school with our safe driving message and a QR code that links to our PSA. We also purchased and distributed keychains that had this year’s logo and theme on the front and the QR code on the back that will send you to our Safe Driving PSA. We had a banner made with the same information that is hung outside our athletic fields for all of our school community to see. We reached out to the community by talking to all of our local first responders i.e. police, fire and rescue squads. They hung up flyers as well as posted our message/PSA link on their social media accounts to reach even more people. They think we are doing an amazing thing, especially since they see first hand what happens when people drive distracted or UTI. One of our first responders told a story on how he remembered his first time responding to a call and had to break the news to the family, they were heartbroken. He thought this would show people what can happen if they aren’t focusing on the road while driving.  Our advisor of SADD also reached out to NJDOT via email to see if they would be willing to post our safe driving message/theme on the message boards they have on all NJ’s major highways. However, we did not get a response back. We then reached out to local businesses to ask for help to get our safe driving message out. We supplied them with the keychains as well as flyers explaining our safe driving goals/initiatives to hand out to their customers for free. Our safe driving message is important to us, and getting that message out to our staff, students and our entire community is also imperative! The flyers, banners, keychains, and social media postings all helped us accomplish this goal with the help of our SRO, local police, fire and rescue squads, and our local businesses.

What makes your project unique and engaging? How did you engage with other student groups to creatively spread your message? (Examples: create artwork, music, plays, unique campaign slogan/logos) 

“This year our project is creative and unique in many ways. We spent all year doing different tables and activities to get the school involved. These tables include handouts, prizes, and pledges.  We spread the word using our school community working nonstop and meeting every week to make sure that the whole school is informed of our message. This year we also decided to make keychains with our logo/theme and link to our safe driving PSA that we put around the community in different places such as pizza places, car wash companies and others. This will help spread our PSA and spread our message further along the community. Our club’s PSA that has to do with our message of not putting your life in jeopardy. This was created by members of the group and then edited to be the best possible. We also had 5 different presenters come in and speak to our sophomores who will be driving soon.  The speakers addressed the importance of driving safely as well as the consequences if you make poor choices behind the wheel. One presenter was Gabe Hurley, who was in a near fatal accident because of distracted teen drivers.  We also had a chief of a local rescue squad talk to them about the consequences along with what he and his squad have seen first hand due to unsafe driving. We had Prevention resources and NJM Insurance also come and speak to our sophomores about distracted driving and driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Lastly, we had a program called ThinkFast present to our 10th grade class.  This presentation was an interactive gameshow where the kids learning all about safe driving in a fun and creative way.  It correlated with our PSA which also had a gameshow theme in order to get our message out to all.  Our slogan this year, “Don’t Put Your Life in Jeopardy

Show how you worked as a team in designing and implementing your project (examples: sign-in sheets at meetings, photos of the group working on tasks). 

This year members have taken great initiative within the club. At our weekly meetings returning and new members alike have made their voices heard by spearheading projects and leading brainstorming sessions. Though most of our club’s progress is made during general and officer meetings, many members embrace the club outside of our meeting hours. Often students return to the group with messages on how they contacted and worked with community members to propel our safe driving initiatives. Our members were able to coordinate an event in which the chief of the Pattenburg Rescue Squad came to Delaware Valley Regional High School to deliver a presentation on the importance of safe driving. Providing nothing but the facts our keynote speakers made an immense impact not only on the audience but on our community as well. Similarly, our chapter recently joined forces with Hunterdon County’s Youth Coalition, a drug-free task force that provided our school with educational materials such as Kahoot games, simulation equipment, and merchandise with helpful resources. Collaborating with these organizations has led to defining moments of this year’s progress as many members practice networking and building connections outside of the school. However, amid networking, members have worked diligently to execute our final project. This entailed long hours of editing and consultation with those outside of our club to reach our goal. Working with members of DVTV media, a student media class, our PSA was stitched together carefully by some of the best and brightest of the class. This year was largely spent on honing connections within the school such as fellow student organizations to make the best of local resources. To take it a step forward students founded new relationships outside of DVRHS to make a lasting impact that will support future members on their journey to spread the word on safe driving.

Use of Research/Data: 
Show how you used local resources to help identify, deliver, assess, and present your project (Examples: local/statewide/national data.). 

In our PSA, SADD members teamed up to create a Jeopardy game to spread awareness for safe driving. There were many questions asking the contestants about safe driving, and to expand on showing how critical it is to drive safely, we are providing data and statistics regarding the consequences of distracted driving from New Jersey to across the entire nation. There are a plethora of different ways to be distracted while driving or be driving while negatively affected by another source. Did you know that in New Jersey, the number one cause for car accidents is distracted driving? According to Lombardi and Lombardi, “…mobile devices, along with other distractions [lead to] distracted driving [being] a leading cause of accidents.” The second most common reason for car accidents is drunk driving. The New Jersey Department of Transportation states that in the recent year, 276,861 car crashes in New Jersey occurred. And furthermore, on average, there are six million accidents in the United States per year. In addition, ten percent of crashes are caused by drunk driving, and eight percent of car accidents are generated by distracted driving. Unfortunately, car accidents are on the rise. However, by spreading the awareness for safe driving, thousands and even tens of thousands of lives will be saved in the future. With all of this knowledge and statistics we decided to focus our safe driving PSA on a variety of different topics relating to safe driving.

Use of Media: 
Document how you used media in your project (examples: local radio, TV, newspapers, social media, websites, video, PSAs). 

We used media in our project such as the use of the Jeopardy game itself. It is a TV show that we thought would be fun to re-create in our PSA in order to spread awareness about our safe driving message. It is a positive and fun PSA for everyone to enjoy as well as remind them to follow the rules of safe driving. We have also spread the PSA by sharing it on many social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other local websites or media outlets. Since platforms such as instagram can be used to spread a lot of information quickly, we thought it would be a great way for us to spread awareness about the dangers distracted driving to our young people as well as our entire community.

Evaluation and Impact: 
Describe how you measured the impact of your project (examples: pre/post observational studies, surveys, quizzes, interviews, etc.)   

As a club, we wanted to make sure that our message of safe driving resonated with the viewers of our project. In order to get as much viewership as possible we created a QR code that, when scanned, brought you right to our PSA on YouTube. Using last year’s idea of putting our PSA QR code on air fresheners as a building block we decided to put our QR code onto beautifully designed keychains and distributed them again to staff, students, and local community businesses. Since our PSA has only been out for a relatively short amount of time, we don’t have a huge amount of views. But according to the statistics, viewership is growing every day. This shows us the scope of our impact as a club that strives for safe driving. We also conducted student interviews which we included in our final project in order to gauge the impact that our project had on the student community here at Delaware Valley Regional High School. We also noticed the extent to which our project resonated with the students at our school. Multiple members of our SADD club reported to us how their friends were complimenting the PSA and informing them of what they learned from the video that they didn’t previously know about distracted driving, GDL laws, and seatbelt regulations on drivers. We also developed a pre and post test for the sophomore class that received the 5 safe driving programs. We thought this would help us determine how much they learned by attending, listening and participating in these different presentations. These statistics are also included in our final video project, As a collective, we believe that our club has created an environment at DVRHS that fosters the ideas and practices of safe driving and promotes the interaction between our club members, staff, and students regarding safety behind the wheel.

How will your project have a lasting effect on your target group? 

Our project will leave a long lasting impression, not only because of our catchy phrase “Don’t put your life in jeopardy, focus behind the wheel”, but because we distributed our keychains to all staff, students and local community members to keep and use on a daily basis. They can share our QR code with anyone they come across because it can be scanned right off their keychain that they carry with them everyday. We also created banners that also have the QR code on them to hang up within the community. One is located on the fence near our athletic fields and the other is in the lobby of the Hunterdon County Administration building in Flemington, NJ. The visibility of these banners as well as the convenience of carrying one of our keychains helps us to ensure our safe driving message has a lasting effect on all!

Unexpected Lessons Learned:
Describe any unintended results that came out of your project. 

One of the many lessons learned from our project and the SADD Club as a whole is the importance of communication and working together with our peers. One of our tasks as a club is to put together a safe driving PSA. We all worked together to plan, film, and edit the video. Communication was extremely important as we were all emailing one another constantly making sure everything was looking good as the project was being completed. By communicating with one another, we were able to fix some edits before the project was due, and re-record certain parts of the video, in order to make the project even better. One person alone wouldn’t have thought of all of the changes we made, but as a group, we were really able to create a great project. When piecing together the final video for our U Got Brains project, we realized how important communication was, yet again, especially regarding finding the right pictures. While putting together the final project, we realized that more pictures were needed, but the group editing didn’t have those pictures. Without communication, almost everything in the club would be extremely hard to get done, and if these tasks did get done, they wouldn’t be nearly as good as they are now, which is only made possible due to our good communication within the group. By emailing the club and asking for any pictures they might have throughout the year, we were able to get a bunch of events and pictures we hadn’t seen before, which fit and worked very well with our final project. Overall, an unexpected lesson learned was the importance of communication, which was made possible by both our safe, driving PSA and our final project. SADD club doesn’t seem like a club that would heavily rely on communication, but it very much is, and helped each of its members to realize that communication is an amazing life skill to have that can be implemented into daily life, and help enhance that person‘s performance overall.

Stipend Reporting:
Your school received a stipend to support your Champion School Teen Driving Safety Project. Additionally, any funds that you raised as a result of your project must be reinvested into transportation safety. The purpose of this report is to itemize expenditures for your project that were paid from the stipend

Banners and keychains $1034.16
Total $1034.16