Being a safe driver has its benefits. Personal well-being and cheaper insurance are two that stand out, but how about a little extra cash?
Students at the Lorain County JVS took part Friday in the school’s eighth annual Young Driver Competition. The winner received $500 with second and third place taking home $250 and $100.
“I’ve been here eight years too and it’s always good to get out here,” said JVS officer Anthony Pluta of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re testing the kids in a variety of ways today.”
Participants took part in written tests on acquiring their driver’s permits, true-and-false questionnaires on safety, watched a slideshow on crashes in Lorain County, and navigated an outdoor obstacle course.
Student Maggie Leib, 17, shared her thoughts on the event after completing the obstacle course.
“Some of the first turns were really tight and I wasn’t sure where the turn was,” she said. “That was also the first time I’ve ever parallel parked. “I was just hoping I didn’t hit the line or chain in front. If you have hands-on training like this, you’re better prepared for the real world. It’s good to reward students for good driving.”
The event was sponsored by the American Automobile Association.
“We’ve partnered with the JVS to offer seniors from 13 different schools with no tickets or crashes a nice reward,” said Lori Cook, safety advisor at AAA East Central in Independence. “Everybody knows what happens if you’re a young driver and you have too many tickets. Bad things happen. This is a good thing.”
JVS principal Jill Petitti said the day also serves as a chance to build good relationships between young drivers and police.
“We try to give them a positive perception of law enforcement,” she said. “Officers are out there sitting with the kids and having lunch. They joke around together and that puts out a positive image rather than thinking of them as just the bad guy who gives you a ticket.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Civitas Media Student Maggie Leib receives instructions from deputy Anthony Pluta at JVS’s eight annual Young Driver Competition.