New Richmond students get lesson in distracted driving ahead of prom

Posted at 4:30 AM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 08:15:29-04

NEW RICHMOND, Ohio -- New Richmond High School is using a simulator to show students what it's like to drive while texting or under the influence in order to encourage safe choices.

"With prom being this weekend, the big thing is we want to make sure, especially this weekend, but every time they go out, 'We need to make smart choices,'" principal Mark Bailey said.

New Richmond High brings in the "Save a Life" simulator tour every couple years. It's a realistic demonstration of the importance of good decisions and responsibility. 

"I know I'm driving my friends to prom," junior Quincy Ipsaro said. "And so, being the person in charge of the car, it means a lot to me because I don't want anyone else to get hurt."

The simulator focuses on distracted driving, which is the leading cause of death among teenagers. There's also an assembly about safe driving and the consequences of distracted driving.

The program also asks students to sign a pledge not to text or be impaired while driving. Samantha Pratt, the New Richmond High Students Against Destructive Decisions president, said it's a "symbolic way to say, 'Hey, think about what you're doing while driving.'"

New Richmond has seen its share of teens killed on the road. Bailey said in his first 13 years as a teacher, he had 11 students who died "due to poor decisions while driving."