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Safety Summit targets distracted driving

Students from Phil Campbell High School and Tharptown High School were among 200 teenagers from 11 schools who attended the “UR KEYS 2 DRV” Teen Driver Safety Summit Nov. 2. The one-day interactive event was held at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence.

Participants heard from speakers and rotated among breakout sessions led by safety experts from Children’s of Alabama, State Farm Insurance, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Safe Kids Alabama and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Safety-related topics that were discussed included the Alabama Graduated Driver License Law, drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other distractions. A driving simulator provided a valuable hands-on learning experience, and a simulated trauma showed the students what happens when a victim from a car crash is brought to the emergency room.

Contributed THS students participate in the Teen Driver Safety Summit.
THS students participate in the Teen Driver Safety Summit.

A highlight of the day was a presentation by Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, an organization that aims to develop the character of young athletes and their coaches by focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty and faith. Lutzenkirchen founded the organization in honor of his 23-year-old son, Philip, who played football for Auburn University and was a passenger in a fatal car crash in 2014 in which alcohol played a role.