#ParkitPTC steers student safety
From “Distracted Driving, What’s on your Mind?” courtesy AAA.
More than 400 Pittsburgh Technical College students – and some faculty and staff – pledged to park it during a week-long drive to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Yasmeen Manyisha, Safety Press Officer, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Terri Rae Anthony, Safety Advisor, AAA East Central, worked with Melissa Gnoth, Student Activities Director, PTC, to bring the campaign to campus.
Students manned a table located directly inside the main entrance and strategically placed near the Campus Store and Student Café to promote #ParkitPTC.
“Many of our students, and nearly all of our faculty and staff, drive to campus every day. Even our resident students climb behind the wheel to get to off-campus jobs, to go shopping, or to head home on some weekends,” Gnoth said. “It is important that they resist the temptation to talk with friends and family, to post to Instagram and Snap Chat, and to text.
“Paying attention to other vehicles, to road conditions, and to the behaviors of other drivers is critically important. In fact, it is most important,” she said.
Park It Wrap Up
The #ParkitPTC wrap-up party held in the PTC Café, Monday, May 8, was a lighthearted event, yet still stressed the dire consequences of distracted driving. Cakes iced with #ParkitPTC celebrated all those who took the pledge to park their mobile devices while driving. A Plinko game provided entertainment and prizes ranging from candy to a carbineer to a vent phone clip. And music underscored the event.
A highlight of the celebration was a raffle for two Amazon Echo Dots donated by AAA East Central.
Tyler Lazor, a Computer Aided Drafting student, the PTC Student Council President and an enthusiastic supporter of the #ParkitPTC drive, actively solicited pledges throughout the week and manned the Plinko game. His perspective was a worldly one.
I have seen distracted driving everywhere,” he said. “I served in the military for 5 years, and have seen it in Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia and Viet Nam. We must raise awareness.”
In contrast to the music, cake and Plinko game was a distracted driving simulator that afforded students the opportunity to experience the life-altering, sometimes life-shattering, ramifications of text messaging, emailing, playing games or performing any other activity that undermines a driver’s focus. The simulator demonstrated just how quickly running a red light or veering across a traffic line could result in a crash.
“Distracted driving is the number one cause of vehicle crashes in the state,” Manyisha explained. “It is important to raise awareness. There are 14,000 distracted driving crashes each year and it is on the rise.”
She continued, “We must remind everyone to put the phone down; safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
Five Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Stow and secure all electronic devices, loose gear and other possession
- Keep your eyes on the road at all times
- Avoid activities that take even one hand off the steering wheel, such as grooming or reaching for an MP3 player.
- Don’t use cell phones while driving
- Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device including those built in the vehicle.