Three area high schools are participating in a safe-driving program that could bring up to $100,000 to their school or a concert by pop star Kelly Clarkson.
State Farm Automobile Insurance is sponsoring the Celebrate My Drive program during National Teen Driving Safety Week, Oct. 18 to 26.
Students must pledge to drive safely and the two schools that have the most pledges to be safe drivers during National Teen Driving Safety Week will receive a private concert by Kelly Clarkson; the top 100 high schools will receive grants from $25,000 to $100,000.
Locally, Cape Henlopen, Sussex Tech and Woodbridge high schools are participating, said Jeanine O'Donnell of State Farm in Rehoboth Beach.
“My daughter graduated from Cape and as a small business owner in the Cape District, I do everything I can to support education and safety initiatives, so this is a natural fit and an exciting opportunity,” she said.
The community is encouraged to take the safe driving pledge, too, at www.celebratemydrive.com, where participants make a commitment on behalf of their favorite high school. There are more than 3,200 schools participating in the program, so every vote will count, O'Donnell said.
Everybody in the community can vote once a day during safety week, O'Donnell said. She said she plans to be at Cape Henlopen High School Friday, Oct. 18, and Monday, Oct. 21, to generate support among the student body.
“We'll be live and actively trying to promote the program,” she said.
In 2007, State Farm and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia teamed up to support a congressional resolution designating the third week of October as National Teen Driver Safety Week with its goals of improving auto safety for children and teens and to encouraging parents, young drivers, lawmakers, and educators to work together to change risky teen driving behaviors and help save lives.
“National Teen Driver Safety Week is designed to increase awareness and spark conversation about teen car crashes across the country” said Chris Mullen, director of Technology Research at State Farm. “Research has shown it will take the involvement of entire communities to keep teens safer on the road; there's not a one-step solution to reducing teen vehicle crashes. Everyone needs to play a role – parents need to monitor their teens' driving practices more closely; teens must obey driving laws and be considerate passengers; and all states must enact and enforce strong graduated driver licensing laws for new drivers.”