Raiders Don’t Risk It

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, Community at large

The goal of our campaign is to educate people in our community about the dangers of drunk and distracted driving. We anticipate spreading awareness will prevent an occurrence like this because next time it could turn deadly.

To combat the issue of drunk and distracted driving, we implemented a multi-faceted promotional plan. First, we held a mock car crash simulation at our high school, with the Scotch Plains Police and Fire departments responding in real-time. This was shown to all the seniors at the high school. Secondly, we were given the opportunity to speak at the Scotch Plains town council meeting on December 14 about our campaign. We promoted awareness about safe driving and reminded people to drive safely during the holiday season. Through social media, we will continue to remind our peers and community about safe driving. We held trivia contests to remind students about the need for safe driving. Lastly, we purchased a banner to hang at the football field to promote the campaign.

Target Audience:
Our primary target market was the student population of Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS. Through our outreach at the town council meeting and various social media posts we were able to extend our reach to our surrounding community. Our public relations element allowed our project to be viewed on our community access television channel as well as being accessed through our town Facebook page and the town online newspaper TAPINTO

In order to begin the process of planning for the mock car crash, we contacted the Scotch Plains Fanwood Fire Department, Police Department, and Rescue Squad along with theatre members at the high school, asking for their help in putting together this scene. The police department was able to provide a wrecked car from the scrapyard, that was placed up against a tree. We then wrote letters to the mayors of Scotch Plains and Fanwood, inviting them to see the simulation. On the day of the simulation, students of the senior class were split into eight groups, and we ushered them in and out. We also provided lunch for the first responders and theatre member volunteers involved.

The “crash” took place on Happle Court. We organized this simulated car crash for our campaign, “Raiders Don’t Risk It” to combat drunk and drugged driving. The simulation consisted of a wrecked car, theatre members playing victims of the crash, and the Police Department, the Fire Department, and the Rescue Squad from Scotch Plains and Fanwood. This “crash” was responded to in real-time by the emergency responders in front of students and faculty. The purpose of this simulation was to show the students, faculty, and members of the community the risks and outcomes of impaired driving Sergeant Officer Brown talked to everyone about the negative effects of drunk or distracted driving.

After speaking with Mayor Josh Losardo during the mock crash simulation, we were invited to speak at the town council meeting in December. This meeting was a great way to spread awareness to the community about our promotional campaign. We spoke about the mock car crash, as well as other aspects of our promotional campaign including our social media posts, the banner at the high school as well as the trivia contest.

There were several roles that needed to be fulfilled throughout the project, one of which was fulfilled by Lucas Regan. Regan’s responsibility was to capture video documentation of the simulation. This entailed him recording the student actors and first responders as they reenacted a realistic drunk driving accident. Afterward, he recorded Sergeant Officer Brown of Scotch Plains Police Department speaking with the group of the students and detailing his experiences with responding to drunk driving accidents. Regan was able to accomplish this task due to his proficiency with the iPhone’s camera capabilities. Regan also managed all social media accounts, maintaining consistency in posts. An additional role that needed to be fulfilled was to capture picture documentation of the simulation, which was performed by Alessandro Frias. Similar to Regan’s role, this entailed documenting the entire simulation and Brown’s speech, however, with pictures. Frias also managed communication with the various contacts in setting up the event, such as the emergency services and mayor, continuing this contact through the town council meeting. Noah Levy executed the final responsibility, which was managing the student groups. Levy was in charge of guiding each group of students from the school to the simulation site, at the specified time. Once at the site, Levy organized the students near the simulation to provide them with the best view of the actors, while simultaneously preventing the students from being in a potentially hazardous area that the first responders were using. After the simulation concluded, Levy guided the students back to the school and waited for the next group. Throughout all of Levy’s responsibilities, he managed his time effectively, allowing the simulations to occur on schedule. He also oversaw all operations of the project, making sure it ran smoothly.

Use of resources:
We worked with the Fire, Police and Rescue Squads of our town in order to not only present the mock car crash but also create our PSA for the contest. The local TV station Raider News filmed the mock car crash. The local town online newspaper TAPINTO filmed the mock car crash as well as the town council meeting. The mayor of Scotch Plains, Josh Losardo, invited us to speak at the December town council meeting.

Use of media:
We used our local TV station Raider News, Our instagram handle, SPF Drives, our local online newspaper TAPINTO, and we created a PSA. The PSA aired on Raider News.

We addressed the concerns of teen driving by creating a multifaceted campaign throughout the calendar year. We used a mock crash for the seniors and filmed it to be shown on our local television station. We also conducted trivia contests, had a banner created reminding people to buckle up as well as a PSA. We feel that we addressed not only drunken and drugged driving but seat belt safety within our campaign.

We are able to see that our campaign was successful in a few major ways. First of all, we can see in the survey that the effects of the mock car crash simulation were felt. Next, we were able to track the number of crashes in the student parking lot. Since the mock crash simulation, we have yet to see an accident, and it has been over two months. This is a key measure of safe driving around the school, and students are clearly getting the message. Our social media campaign has flourished as well, with a good amount of interaction on our weekly safe driving posts.

The banner will hang for several years at the field. Our PSA will be shown for next year’s drivers ed classes. We are already being asked by this years junior class if there will be a mock car crash for their senior year.

Unexpected Lessons Learned:
The initiating process was slightly difficult because we had to find a date that worked well for all organizations that were participating in the simulation (fire department, police department, and rescue squad). One of the aspects that were difficult is that protocols for COVID made it difficult to meet in person. Even though we met virtually, we could not walk the various community representatives through the actual location for the event. This led to a longer setup time because the emergency equipment could not be staged in the original location.

We had several issues due to supply chain issues. Our banner has been delayed for over two months. It is important to have a back up plan and to be flexible when planning.

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

T shirts – $430

Banner – $260

Raffle prizes – $311.33

Total $1001.33