Safe Driving Assembly educates students

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On Friday, sophomores and juniors attended the Safe Driving Assembly in the Alan Harvey Theater. PHS hosted the assembly to raise awareness and educate students about reckless and distracted driving.

California Highway Patrol Officer Markus Holden said, “We are here to educate and empower you.”

Holden and speaker Jacob Gonzalez, ITD, spoke about the dangers of reckless and distracted driving. The officers focused mainly on the impact of distractions while driving.

Sophomore Walker Mahany said, “[The assembly] addressed a prominent issue for teens. It will definitely help people with driving. I thought the most impactful thing was showing the examples of what happens to people who are just people like us and how one bad decision can affect their lives.”

The presentation included video segments about two teens who lost their lives in car crashes due to reckless behavior and inexperienced drivers.

“I thought it was very informative. I thought the personal stories of the people were sad and very impactful,” sophomore Mia Webb said.

In addition to the videos, the officers presented the audience with powerful statistics. Each year in the United States, nearly 4,000 teens die in car crashes. Car crashes are different from accidents, because crashes are considered to be 100 percent preventable.

Gonzalez said, “Distracted driving is the number one killer of teens in America, even more than drugs and suicide combined.”

The officers stressed the importance of making good choices. “Every time you get in a vehicle, you need to be careful about the choices you make, otherwise it could be your last,” said Gonzalez.

For the junior class, this was their second time attending the Safe Driving Assembly.

Junior Gillian Truesdell said, “I thought is was very impactful, a lot better than last year’s Safe Driving Assembly. I also found the people were a lot more engaging, and I found it more effective.”

Gonzalez said that safe driving is about the choices you make, and reckless and distracted driving is preventable.

Webb said, “I would never expect any of this to happen to me, but it could. I could get distracted. I could be in a car where the driver gets distracted. I thought it was very relevant to me, and I’m glad I went.”