This article was contributed by San Benito High School student, Diana Lopez with the BenitoLink Junior Journalism Project.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and California Department of Motor Vehicles held a parent-teen safety driving workshop on Saturday, April 20 in Hollister.
The workshop highlighted a shocking number of statics like 75% of car crashes are not caused by drinking or drugs, but by distractions. Most shockingly though is the fact that San Benito County has the third highest teen driver fatality rate in California due to reckless driving, according to California Highway Patrol.
Despite that, my mother and I were the only people in attendance at the workshop.
“We’ve tried everything to try and get this city to care,” CHP Officer Chris Miceli said. “We’ve scheduled on days less busiest, we’ve brought in translators, and even people affected by reckless driving, yet we always end up having low to no attendance.”
Workshop instructors talked about the consequences of distracted driving and used real life examples like the cases of Donovan Tessmer of Madera and Natalie Salcido of Gilroy. Donovan was just 16 when he died due to reckless driving. Natalie was one week shy of 16 when she died due to distracted driving.
In an effort to reach out to the teens in San Benito County, Miceli has scheduled two days of assemblies at San Benito High School in May.
BenitoLink Junior Journalism, Latinx and Inclusionx programs come from the generous support of United Way of San Benito County, AT&T Monterey Peninsula Foundation and Taylor Farms. These programs enable local San Benito County youth to develop professional and employable skills that help pave their way for a more successful future.
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