Outside of an unfortunate spelling change to make a good acronym, it's hard to find many faults with the kids who started Preventing Every Careless Kollision, or PECK. Named after their hometown near Flint, the group made a video highlighting the dangers of careless teen driving and have even been the focus of a recent pep rally.
They're also enlisting the support of fellow Peck High School students, creating rallies and t-shirts promoting the cause. Considering they are just barely out of driving school themselves, it's a substantial accomplishment.
In fact, Chelsea Fletcher and Julia Bush, PECK's co-founders, are in the running for $10,000 given out at the Act Out Loud: Raising Voices for Safe Teen Driving contest. They're one group of 20 that are competing for the top honors.
The positive message they're trying to get out to their peers comes from tragic roots, according to the Times Herald. Fletcher's brother was lost in a car accident several years ago.
"The message they are getting out is much more important than winning the whole competition," said schools Superintendent David Bush, according to the paper. "They're really concerned about saving lives and keeping their peers safe."
They've already had some success, starring in a public service announcement that will be shown in Peck and beyond, as well as $1,200 for making it to the Act Out Loud finals.
The Act Out Loud movement could be the logical next step for community-minded teens who have graduated from drivers ed
and are looking to continue the message in a positive way. It focuses on teens who make the choice to help others limit distractions each year, leveraging the positive aspects of peer pressure.
With May being National Youth Traffic Safety Month, Act Out Loud is a project started by the National Organization for Youth Safety, and they have a couple tips for teens who may want to get a little involved or a lot:
- Involve local establishments in the effort. If you eat at a Subway, ask if you can put up a flyer from the organizations.
- Don't be afraid to speak up if you're uncomfortable in a car that a friend is driving. One less distracted driver could save a lot of heartache if something bad were to happen.
- Use your community. If you belong to a team or a club, see if you can make one of their public service efforts part of a campaign to reduce the number of teen drivers engaged in dangerous habits
More than 5,000 youngsters die in traffic accidents each year, a number that is sometimes included in drivers education
curricula to highlight the severity of the situation. But making a change in how you act when you're behind the wheel or how your friends drive is a small step. Or you can take a page out of Fletcher and Bush's playbook and do a little more to help this summer.