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NEISD students share safe driving message

If you know busy Bulverde Road, you know that sometimes it can be a struggle to get to where you need to go.

Driving down a long stretch of road can also make it easy to get distracted.

17-year-old Ethan Waters said it can be frustrated to be behind someone stuck on their phone.

“We want people to keep their eyes on the road obviously because it’s just really annoying and it’s a green light and someone is just on their phone and you are just sitting behind them. It’s just like, are you going to go,” Waters said.

So, students at Johnson High School decided to do something about it and formed the Johnson Smart Driving Club in 2012 with parent volunteer Melinda Cox at the helm.  

“The Johnson PTSA Safe Driving Club works on campus, works in the community, works with community members, safety organizations, TxDot, SAPD, hospitals, basically anywhere we can in order to get out a safe driving message,” Cox said.

Waters is one of the students in the club.

He decided to join during his Sophomore year after he got his driver’s license.

“I personally didn’t want to drive distracted because it’s tempting when you have your phone right there. Plus, I wanted to make a difference in the community because that’s like a problem I noticed personally, just seeing so many people on their phones,” he said.

The students meet after school with Ms. Cox to develop new ways to help break the culture of distracted driving.

“The main message is that you should not drive distracted and you should not drive impaired. It really doesn’t even matter what the statistics are. When you are behind the wheel on the road, you should be paying attention and keeping your eyes on the road and not on the phone; it can happen in a second,” Cox said.

Waters agrees and said texting can wait.

“A text can wait right but your life can’t, so if someone texted you ‘hey are you on your way?’ they are going to assume you are on your way and driving. You only get one shot at life,” he added.

The club has thrived thanks to funding and support from the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association), teachers, administrators and parents.

Their message is definitely being heard.

“We’ve been able to start our program on the campus but then we have reached out from everyone from Papa Johns all the way up to the State Capitol. Our students have been recognized on the state floor at the State Capitol for the work they have done in their community and their campus for safe driving,” Cox said.

Ms. Cox also said it’s a reflection of the kind of students that come out of Johnson High School.

“Johnson cares about its campus and its students and its staff. I have a daughter who graduated in 2014 and the important lesson she took away not only from just my club but from the campus is that they have a voice and they can stand up. They can go out in the community and they can be proud of the campus that they came from.”

To learn more about the Johnson PTSA Johnson Smart Driving Club, click here:

Discover the NEISD way, where our volunteers advocate for the students and the community around them.

Ashley Speller