LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 2,800 students across Western New York are learning the dangers about drinking and driving and texting and driving.
The 22nd Annual Traffic Safety Fair is happening this week for students ahead of prom and graduation.
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and several other agencies are teaching teenagers the rules of the road.
“Driving while intoxicated and distracted driving are the two leading causes of serious injuries and fatal accidents,” said Chief Deputy Michael Dunn, NCSO.
“Unfortunately, tragically too many people are still dying preventable deaths,” said Capt. Eric Laughton, NYS Police.
Students go through a series of demonstrations and they get to see what happens when a car is in a rollover accident and the driver and passengers aren’t wearing a seat belt. They also see what it’s like driving impaired, interacting with law enforcement and learning the “Move Over” law.
“We’re trying to make it where it’s entertaining , yet serious at the same time. These are newly minted drivers and they’re going to get behind the wheel of a 4,000 pound vehicle that could potentially kill themselves or somebody else,” said Capt. Laughton.
Police say 20 years ago texting and driving wasn’t an issue and now it’s close to surpassing drinking and driving deaths.
“Phones are everywhere now and everyone’s on them all the time, but I think it’s really dangerous,” said Isabell Steiner, senior at Lewiston-Porter High School.
“I didn’t really realize that texting and driving was a bigger punishment, like points on your license than speeding was,” said Gabe Colangelo, senior at Lewiston-Porter High School.
Students told News 4, because of this fair, they will think twice the next time they get behind the wheel.
“I think it’s actually been really informative and I’ve learned a lot about the rules of the road,” said Steiner.
“Don’t drive drunk, don’t speed, don’t be on your phone, just be safe when you drive and buckle up,” said Colangelo.