JAMESTOWN — For one Greeneview High School driver, distracted driving is real, and, he’s trying to curb it.
Lane Goodbar, a senior, submitted his design to the State Farm Billboard Contest on his 18th birthday. Although at first surprised his design was chosen to receive second place, he said the message is important.
Goodbar’s design, which focuses specifically on texting and driving, reads “It’s not worth it.”
“There’s been people I know that have been in crashes because of that,” he said.
The senior art student said he planned to go see his design in billboard form, which was scheduled for display on Wright State University Nutter Center’s digital billboard as well as on various Lamar Advertising billboards around the county during Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 15-21.
Goodbar’s Art II teacher, Molly Beam, said she will use the funds to purchase more art supplies for her students.
“I was super excited about the participation and getting our students’ artwork out in the public and getting more interest locally,” Beam said.
Greene County Safe Communities Coalition Coordinator Jillian Drew presented $250 to Beam for her classroom and $250 to Goodbar for his second-place prize.
Drew, as a part of Greene County Public Health (GCPH), along with sponsor Rick Kolmin of State Farm in Xenia, held the contest for county high school students to not only give their artwork a chance to be displayed in public but also to raise awareness of distracted driving and other teen driver safety issues. GCPH officials report that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, ahead of all types of injury, disease or violence.
“When I talk about distracted driving a lot of times people automatically think about cell phones. I always like to remind people with distracted driving — it’s not just cell phones,” Ohio State Highway Patrol Xenia Post Commander Lt. Matt Schmenk said to the cafeteria full of students.
Schmenk listed putting on makeup, eating food, watching T.V., listening to the radio and talking with passengers all as falling under the category of distracted driving.
“We want to encourage everybody that when you’re out on the roadways you’re paying attention and you’re just driving,” he said.
According to GHS Principal Brian Masser, the message is important not just on a state level, but on a local level and a school level.
“Certainly in the last couple of years schools in surrounding areas have been impacted by distracted driving,” he said. “I’m always excited when one of our students can promote a positive message … especially a student like Lane who is well-connected to the rest of the student body.”
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.