FCCLA combats drunk driving

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Noah Dawley

Students at FVHS were given the opportunity to view exhibits from the FACTS National Program sponsored by FCCLA to promote safe driving, focusing on educating students against drunk and distracted driving.

Noah Dawley, Staff Writer

Students may have noticed a roller coaster-like mechanism during A and B lunch on May 4. No, this was not a mini-fair, but rather the FACTS National Program sponsored by FCCLA to promote safe driving, focusing on educating students against drunk and distracted driving.

In an age where there are a million distractions around students and cars, from phones to apple watches, FCCLA has prioritized finding ways to educate high school students about the dangers of interruptions while driving.

FACTS set up many different interactive segments, one being a real-life crash simulator. With permission from a parent or guardian through a waiver, a student could experience an impact simulation showing the importance of wearing a seatbelt when driving or riding in a vehicle.

“It reinforced my belief in seatbelts,” recalled Mathias Rosales, a sophomore student who participated in the seatbelt simulation.“If that was just 10 miles per hour, imagine normal driving speeds. It costs more in fines to not wear a seatbelt.”

Along with the seatbelt simulation, students the program sponsors also wheeled in a display of a crashed car, which showcased what the reality looks like for a lot of teen drivers in the U.S. This event was accompanied by the likes of the Fuquay-Varina Police Department, who played a part in running everything.

“We started planning this event in October of this school year,” explained FCCLA advisor Julia McClannon. “We met with our SRO [School Resource Officer], Officer Baker, who connected us with Corporal Look with the FVPD who manages these types of events for the community.”

“We came up with this idea during one of our club meetings,” McClannon went on to say. “We were discussing participating in the FCCLA National Program FACTS:  Families Acting for Community Traffic Safety (National Program website for more information).”

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. McClannon also touched on some of the challenges regarding this event. “We were really disappointed that a day before the event, one of our sponsors backed out and they were going to bring the big DWI bus that we think students would have enjoyed seeing,” she explained. “We also had to make sure to double-check everything with Mr. McCotter and cross-check scheduling of other events this week.”

Lastly, McClannon shared some insight into what FCCLA hoped to leave students with after this event. “We hoped to raise awareness and educate students about the effects of their actions when driving,” said McClannon. “It’s not just themselves they have to worry about, and with social media and texting being so prevalent, it’s something that touches all students and all drivers.”