Event focuses on teen driving

Published 6:34 am Thursday, January 5, 2012

The 2012 Teen Driving Event at Cattleman Park on Jan. 20 is shaping up to be equally as successful as the initial event in 2011.

Jennifer C. Garrett, event organizer, said plans are being finalized for the free event that is designed to help prevent injuries and deaths among teenagers on the nation’s roadways.

“Last year, between 300 and 400 people attended the Teen Driving Event and it brought awareness to the dangers on our highways and to the actions that contribute to them,” Garrett said. “The teens and the parents who attended said the event was very worthwhile and has the potential to help prevent injuries and save lives, not just of teenage drivers but of those who are passengers in their vehicles.”

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The featured speakers for the 2012 Teen Driving Event will be Trooper Charles Dysart from the Alabama State Troopers Office and Jonah McWaters, a Pike County teen vehicle accident victim.

“Trooper Dysart will speak on the dangers of drinking and driving, distracted driving and the importance of wearing seatbelts,” Garrett said. “He will also bring the roll-over simulator that demonstrates how seatbelts can save lives.”

McWaters was injured in a vehicle accident when he was 17 years old. He is a paraplegic who has a shot at making the 2012 London Paralympic Games in the javelin throw.

“Jonah is an inspiring speaker and his message will be one that has an impact on teens,”

Garrett said. “They will hear from him what it’s like to have to learn to live your life as a paraplegic and what it takes to battle back.”

Garrett said the community is encouraged to become involved in the 2012 Teen Driving Event by setting up booths with any information related to teen driving and by volunteering to assist with the carrying out of the event.

“Last year, our law enforcement agencies set up booths along with the ABC board and insurance agencies with a lot of valuable information related to teen driving,” Garrett said. “We invite anyone who has any teen related information to share to have a booth. And, we always need volunteers and in several different areas from promoting the event to set up and clean up.”

For more information, call Garrett at 770-7444 or 268-6469 or Jamie Scarbrough at 672-5392.