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 Lake Shore High School students Shane Gagnon and Kyle Knight push classmates Devyn Davis and Vincent Russo through the driving course while wearing “drunk goggles” to mimic impairment Feb. 3.

Lake Shore High School students Shane Gagnon and Kyle Knight push classmates Devyn Davis and Vincent Russo through the driving course while wearing “drunk goggles” to mimic impairment Feb. 3.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske


Lake Shore students highlight dangers of driving while impaired

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 7, 2020

 Lake Shore High School students Tyler Scherer and Antoinette Clark hold the third-place award Lake Shore High School won for its 2019 Strive for a Safer Drive campaign.

Lake Shore High School students Tyler Scherer and Antoinette Clark hold the third-place award Lake Shore High School won for its 2019 Strive for a Safer Drive campaign.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — After a stellar showing in 2019, marketing students at Lake Shore High School are trying once more to persuade their classmates of the dangers of driving while distracted or impaired.

Strive for a Safer Drive, or S4SD, is an initiative aimed at reducing serious traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities among Michigan’s teen drivers. Presented by the Ford Driving Skills for Life and the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, all Michigan high schools are eligible to apply.

In 2019, Lake Shore High School’s campaign came in third out of 63 schools in the state, and the school won $1,000 for its campaign touting the dangers of driving while distracted.

This year, Lake Shore is competing against 57 other schools, aiming to show how driving is affected when the driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Business and computer technical education teacher Janice Radlick said that her students applied for and won a grant for $1,000, which enabled them to purchase “drunk goggles” for participants to use and pool noodles to outline the course. Along with her 24 marketing students, students from the videography class and construction trades class have also pitched in to help with the efforts.

Along with creating a social media campaign for the challenge, the students have to submit a video, which the videography class is helping with, and the construction trades class helped to build joists to hold the pool noodles in place to define the course.

During lunch periods each day, Lake Shore High School students can take turns donning the drunk goggles while they attempt to push classmates through the course, avoiding obstacles and fellow “drivers” while impaired.

Radlick said that several of the students have reported feeling ill after using the drunk goggles, which, she said, may be the point of the exercise.

The marketing students conduct a survey of students’ impressions of what constitutes impaired driving at the beginning and end of the campaign, which includes a social media component along with videos that are shown to the school. If the campaign is successful, students’ perceptions will have changed, she said.

Students are also asked to take a safe driving pledge at the end of the campaign.

“The hardest part was trying to figure out an idea that was different from last year,” student Antoinette Clark said. “It’s important, especially in our generation, that we understand the dangers behind the wheel.”

She said that she thinks the campaign promotes the safe driving message in a way that students understand.

“It puts it in a way that’s entertaining, but they still understand the dangers of it,” she said of driving while impaired.

Student Tyler Scherer said that the process has taught him how difficult it is to win grant money for a campaign.

Clark said she’s hoping they will be successful in the contest this year. She developed this year’s slogan for the school’s campaign, which is #drivelikeyoucarenotwhileimpaired.

“I think people will see that we genuinely care about the cause,” she said.

Radlick said they will submit the results of the campaign to the state at the end of March.

For more information, visit michigan.gov/s4sd.

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