A group of Central High School students wanted to make their peers think twice before getting distracted behind the wheel. So this week, they used candy to get their message across.
The Future Business Leaders of America student group came up with the idea to run their own checkpoints at the entrance to the junior and senior parking lots on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Senior Melissa Seyler explained, "They get Smarties if they're wearing seatbelts or not texting while driving. They get Dum-Dums if they're not wearing seatbelts."
Lennard Osby, also a senior, offered words of encouragement to those being smart, calling “Hey, seatbelt, good job!”
Their words and their effort, Osby said, are truly heartfelt. "There's been a lot of bad accidents in the last couple of years,” he said, “and we hope to prevent that. With our fellow students, by having them buckle up and show that we care."
Many students were paying attention during announcements, and they knew to expect the checkpoints. Others were caught off guard. "Some of the students are not stopping," said Senior Kayche Sanders.
Most students were in compliance and were focused on their jobs behind the wheel, organizers said. But Kianna Booker earned a Dum-Dum. "I changed my music and I guess they thought I was texting,” she said.
Either way, focusing on anything but driving is a distraction and could lead to a crash, which Booker realizes. “I mean I guess it reminds people to be safe while they're driving and that's good.”
Osby hopes the lessons last beyond these past couple of days. “If they're making the wrong choice, then hopefully, they'll make the right choice,” he said.