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Nedrose students endorse Vision Zero

Program emphasizes driving safely

Submitted Photo Bryson Vannett and Maecey McKibbin are the two students who head the Vision Zero program at Nedrose Public School. The poster behind reads, “Buckle up, phone down Cardinals!t.”

Two students at Nedrose Public School are spearheading a program at their school to encourage safe, responsible driving.

Junior Maecey McKibbin and senior Bryson Vannett are co-leaders of Nedrose’s Vision Zero school program, in which they educate their peers and community on safe driving practices.

Vision Zero is a collaboration with the North Dakota Department of Transportation, North Dakota Highway Patrol and the North Dakota Department of Health that aims to establish a culture of shared responsibility to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries. These students have brought that culture into their school with the motto, “Vision Zero. Zero fatalities. Zero excuses.”

“I didn’t really know what Vision Zero was, so we joined kind of not knowing, and then you learn about it and you realize that this is a good thing to do so you like spreading the word,” Vannett said.

The students said the big push to bring this program to Nedrose happened when a student was involved in a dangerous car accident that required a hospital stay last year. McKibbin said the Student Council advisor, Kelsey Howard, asked sophomores and juniors last spring to step up to promote this program the next school year. Their hope is when the older students graduate, the younger students will step up to promote safe driving.

As high school students, Vannett said, the biggest thing they promote is buckling up and putting the phone down behind the wheel. They target the entire school, including younger students who aren’t yet able to drive, in hope that when they do obtain their driver’s licenses, that positive mindset is already ingrained.

Every year Vision Zero hosts a Traffic Safety Day, during which students learn about the dangers of reckless and distracted driving with hands-on activities. Vision Zero, along with Impact Teen Drivers, brings in go-carts and fatal vision goggles to simulate impaired driving. Officers from the Ward County Sheriff’s Department also attend and give personal testimonials about approaching accident sites.

McKibbin and Vannett said these hands-on demonstrations provide a positive, more powerful outreach to their peers.

“Drive safely. Your life could end at any point and you could prevent that by simply putting your seatbelt on and putting your phone down when you’re driving and driving sober. If you are intoxicated, ask for a ride. Don’t put that burden on you driving under the influence,” Vannett said.

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