Driving Awareness Week Amidst Prom


Although the cause of destruction for this vehicle is unknown, Blaylock as well as the school administration hopes that the message is clear. Blaylock Stated, “This week is important to me because intoxicated driving accidents have had a big impact on my life. Not only as a Police Officer responding to accidents, but I have also lost close friends in accidents where impairment, or reckless driving was in play.”

Olivia Moody, Newspaper Editor

It is no coincidence that Deputy Riley Blaylock decided to teach the high school students about driving safety during the week of prom. 

The week started off with a shock to all students. A demolished car wrapped with caution tape was placed directly outside the main entrance of the school. While the vehicle was meant to be a shock factor to make students understand the harsh reality of driving under the influence, many students were not prepared for the surprise. 

Opinions could be heard throughout the halls, many students feel that there should have been a warning email before Monday. Students who have been in serious accidents were forced to remember their trauma without any warning. Teachers argued that this shock was intentional and makes the message more powerful and lasting. 

Blaylock described his intentions with the vehicle, “[The] school administration and I wanted this vehicle here to represent the aftermath of the four topics we are discussing over morning announcements, and we hope that it has a positive impact on students at North Polk.”

As well as the vehicle, Blaylock also did morning announcements each morning to discuss topics such as drunk driving, impaired driving, as well as distracted driving. Posters were also placed around the school to further discuss the driving topics. Blaylock also shared that on Friday, a speaker presented about how one decision to drive while impaired changed the entire course of his life. The speaker, Jesse Farrell, lost his wife to a head on collision with a drunk driver. Farrell noted that he understands that many teenagers have experience with illegal substances but asks students to take precautions to avoid dangerous situations.

The auditorium was completely silent as Jesse Ferrell spoke about his connection to impaired driving. The administration hopes that his message reminds North Polk Students to make good choices.

Driving awareness week was specifically planned for the week of prom to warn students about driving impaired. Blaylock explained, “According to statistics from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), parents believe that more students will be impaired during prom than most other holidays/events. The event we are hosting this week with the posters, announcements, and wrecked vehicle are meant to have a positive impact on the students, and encourage them to make smart choices.”

Overall Blaylock just wants students to, “understand that one mistake can have a life-long impact. If students find themselves in a situation where they feel that they are impaired, they should know to find a sober and safe ride home. Getting behind the wheel of any type of vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs can lead to serious injury or death.”