by Jonathan Copsey / Appen Newspapers
Milton - Poor teen driving is an acknowledged problem. Lack of experience and a general feeling of immortality make for a potentially dangerous mix, as anyone who has driven by a high school as it was just letting out knows.
With this problem in mind, a group of Milton citizens decided to help out the city's teenage drivers.
"The Road to Safety" contest was created to allow teens the chance to both express their creative side as well as send a message to their peers about safe driving.
"Kids think they're invincible. But they're not. It's not me, it's the other guy," said Lisa Cauley, a Milton resident and operator of ProtectMilton.com, who helped come up with the idea. "These roads are dangerous out here, so we thought, maybe we need to try and do something positive to help the kids become more aware of their responsibility."
The Road to Safety was the result.
Students who enter are given the chance to create a two-minute video project, addressing the dangers that teens face as new drivers in their town and ways to make the road safe for everyone.
Both Milton and Alpharetta high schools have pledged to sign on to the program, and both city governments are eagerly on board.
"It's a great avenue to have students participate in a public safety arena," said Milton High School Principal Cliff Jones. "Being responsible, both behind the wheel and with technology, is something we're trying to educate our students and our parents."
Jones said the school is actively educating students about safe driving, especially the dangers of texting while driving, and he looks forward to engaging the students in the competition.
But what's a contest without prizes? The winner will receive bragging rights for their school, a full-day driving course at the Richard Petty Defensive Driving School at Road Atlanta and other prizes from local area businesses. Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood and Alpharetta Mayor Arthur Letchas will honor the winner, and the winning video will be viewed at both City Halls. The video will also be showcased at both participating high schools.
The winner's school will receive a $500 grant toward environmental products or items for their school, in addition to a gift certificate from Staples for office or school supplies.
Students can get an application from their schools or contact the Web sites AccessMilton.com or ProtectMilton.com.