CHAMPION - Students who made a video about the dangers of unsafe and distracted driving hope it is a "smash."
The unveiling of the video took place Tuesday at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center and was attended by more than 50 students, parents and school officials.
The Students Making a Safer Highway (S.M.A.S.H.), a Trumbull Teen Driver Safety Initiative, was created to engage county youths in creating educational opportunities about safe driving.
Patrol Lt. Brian Holt explains creation of the video.
The video features Bloomfield High School students Katie Chilson and Dan Earl in a car. They are distracted by eating food, texting, drinking pop and using cell phones. Chilson said they drew names for the video's lead roles.
Lt. Brian Holt, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said that last summer Trooper Lauren Merz suggested a program of going to schools and asking the students what can be done to better educate them on the dangers of distracted driving.
''As we get older we tend to lose touch with the youth," Holt said. "We were concerned we weren't getting the message out there clearly, so we contacted the principals of Trumbull County about a program by the students for the students."
Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland
Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt, right, recognizes Trumbull Career and Technical Center students Brittany Marquette and Tyler Wolf, along with others students from across the county, for their work on a driving safety video. The video was unveiled Tuesday at TCTC.
Holt said two students from each of the 20 school districts in the county were invited to take part in making the video. Those students then took the videos back to their home schools to show to all students.
''The students really landed on their feet and went running with the idea and came up with this powerful video,'' Holt said.
Champion High School student Russell Banks said the video shows the consequences of driving while being distracted.
''We want to show people what can happen when you are distracted when driving. The video really gets the point across,'' Banks said.
Maplewood High School juniors Emily Ward and Kaitlyn Higgins, who both worked on the video, said the students came together as a group on the project.
''We were able to share our ideas of what to include in the video to get our message across,'' Ward said.
Higgins said plans are for schools to hold mock crashes as well.
Ward and Higgins said they got a positive response from Maplewood classmates who saw the video.
Assisting OSP was the Trumbull County 4-H and TCTC interactive multi-media class.