Driver safety assembly a hit with students | NevadaAppeal.com

Driver safety assembly a hit with students

by Maggie O'Neill

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Carson High School students, from left, Kendra Simms, Lindsey Bleuss, Jill Coates and Emily Johnson listen to an assembly at CHS Wednesday. The video production students prepared the Every Second Counts assembly to help teen drivers learn about traffic safety and driver awareness.

Every second counted at two 75-minute presentations about student driver safety on Wednesday at Carson High School.

The assembly, called Every Second Counts, demonstrated that students make better driving choices when they slow down and pay attention.

“Every second does count, you guys, and that’s what we’re about today,” said video production teacher Brian Reedy. “We’re trying to get you to be more aware.”

His advanced class, which is competing for $10,000 in grant money from State Farm Insurance, will send a three- to five-minute film clip of months of work to judges by early December.

Senior Brandi Cundiff, 18, said her intensive work on the project is already affecting her life.

“I learned sometimes I’m a bad driver,” she said. “I just mess around and talk with my friends. One second of what do can affect your life. I’ve already started changing my driving habits. I’ve stopped being an aggressive driver and more of a defensive driver.”

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Students at the assemblies watched a mock accident filmed Oct. 9 in front of the school, as well as six short clips made by students Vince Cramer, Valente Duarte, Chris Reardon, Morgan Simpson, Mark Malikowski and Jessica Wood about driver safety.

Speakers at the assembly included Carson City Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Cullen, Carson City Fire Department Engineer John Arneson and former Carson High School student Kevin Petersen, who was paralyzed from the waist down after an accident three years ago.

“Most of you know somebody who has been in a car accident,” Petersen said. “In most cases if (the drivers) waited one second longer, it wouldn’t have happened.”

Matt Hanson, a 15-year-old freshman, was affected by Petersen’s talk and the Every Second Counts assembly.

“This showed me to have more respect for people who drive,” he said.

Junior Jacob Jeffers, 17, said the assembly reminded students to pay attention.

“Right now is when everyone is getting their driver’s licenses,” he said. “They need to be shown it is a risk every day you go out.”

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’neill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.