A ‘yellow light’ for safety

Now that it appears that the Polar Vortex has finally released the nation from its icy grip, the people of Fairfield County can share a collective sigh of relief. At long last, one of the most highly anticipated spring seasons in recent memory has arrived (and not a moment too soon).

But while others immediately embraced the newfound sunlight and plant life, I forced myself to take it with a grain of salt. As I mentioned in one of my previous columns, spring is a dangerous time for me.

The vibrancy of Greenwich in the springtime absconds away with my attention span every year, leaving me to stare blankly out a window while my teachers fill the easel boards in front of me with crucial notes.

Although I’ve been able to keep my focus for a change this spring, I cannot say the same for others. Many of my classmates have fallen prey to the diversions of spring, both in the classroom and, in a more serious sense, outside of it.

While distracted driving is a persistent problem throughout the year, it becomes a much more serious danger to teens once the spring rolls around. Kids my age find themselves on the road much more often in the spring, either driving themselves to their sporting events or taking advantage of their junior privileges. Many kids my age will have full licenses by this time of year as well, meaning that they can pile as many of their friends into their cars as possible and stay out as late at night as they please.

These factors alone increase the risk to teen safety, not to mention that they also make it even more likely that cell phones will find their way into the hands of these drivers. Sensing the danger that the upcoming spring could hold for their friends and classmates, students at Brunswick, GHS, and King-Low Heywood Thomas recently teamed up with the organization Project Yellow Light to take a stand against distracted driving in our community.

For context, Project Yellow Light is a non-profit organization that raises awareness about distracted driving throughout the nation with a yearly film contest. The contest challenges the nations high school and college students to create a 25 to 55-second long PSA about the dangers of distracted driving. The winners of this contest can receive up to $5,000 in college scholarship money and have their PSA broadcast as an Ad Council commercial on up to 1,600 TV stations across the country.

To raise the profile of the competition locally and generate funds for the scholarship prize, Greenwich-Stamford area students recently hosted a go-kart race at N.Y. Grand Prix in Mt. Kisco. More than 80 students from Brunswick, Greenwich High School and KLHT were assigned to teams of four and pit against each other for a night of friends, free pizza and racing.

The race went for approximately an hour and everybody involved left with a firm resolve to stay alert behind the wheel.

On top of that, the event raised more than $3,000 for the scholarship fund and was a blur of great times.

Realistically speaking, an event like this was probably the best possible way to keep kids from texting and driving. A night such as this serves to remind us all how blessed we all are, and how foolish it would be to throw it all away by glancing at a cell phone in the driver’s seat of a car.

Christopher Lucey is a junior at Brunswick School.

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