By Kelly Wong
On Jan. 17, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and San Gabriel Police Department (SGPD) held their annual Teen Safe Driving meeting at 7 p.m. in the Goodson Theatre at Gabrielino High School. The meeting served to educate both parents and their teens about driving and the risks involved.
After starting off the meeting, Russell Martin, PTSA president, followed up with a PowerPoint, which included tips on how to prepare a student driver for the road, a worksheet to keep record of the student’s progress, and various resources to conduct further research. Martin cited teendriver.nsc.org, calif.aaa. com, safecar.gov, and iihs.org.
Following Martin’s presentation, junior Rodin Batcheller delivered a speech about his experience with Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe (BRAKES), a driving school founded by a former race car driver.
“I didn’t want [BRAKES] to be over. It was super fun,” stated Batcheller. “I encourage all teen drivers to take it.”
Two members from the SGPD were present: Rene Hernandez, traffic sergeant, and Nick Hamel, motorcycle officer. Unlike Martin’s presentation, which focused on preparing teenage drivers, Hernandez’s presentation covered distracted driving.
“Distracted driving is any activity that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheels, and your mind off the the primary task […] basically [not] paying attention,” stated Hernandez in his presentation.
The actions that fell under distracted driving included eating, shaving, or using a handheld device while driving.
“There are a lot of things that people do inside the car that are technically aren’t illegal, but are distracting,” stated Hernandez.
Hernandez also covered the consequences of distracted driving, namely car accidents, including financial burden, toll on taxpayers, and depletion of hospital resources.