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CCHS students warned against distracted driving

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Capt. Robert “Todd” Till of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency presented safety information to Chilton County High School students on Oct. 11.

“Driving is probably one of the most dangerous things they will do every day,” Till said.

Incidents involving teen drivers increase during the school year.

Till said he wanted to reinforce what the students are learning in driver’s education class and make students aware of the potential consequences of their actions.

“Actions have consequences — that is what they need to know,” Till said.

Avoiding distracted driving was a major component of Till’s talk. He said eating, drinking, reading, adjusting the radio, trying to reach something in the car and talking to other passengers are all activities that have distracted drivers while driving.

Till emphasized that it is against the law to text or use a handheld electronic device while driving in the state of Alabama.

A number of examples of when distracting driving caused an accident were highlighted.

Till used a 911 call and photos to warn students of the dangers of speeding on hills for fun and not wearing a seatbelt.

In the incident highlighted, the driver and the four passengers were all 16. Till said 16-year-old drivers are limited by law to one nonfamily member passenger. Three passengers died because they were not wearing a seatbelt.

Till said if they had been wearing a seatbelt, they would have survived with some injuries.

“Kids ask a lot of questions primarily about safety on the highway, so this is a way to ask a state trooper that can give them firsthand information,” driver’s education teacher Deon Timmons said.

Timmons said the presentation also served as an opportunity to build good relation between the officer and the students.

Till also touched on a Clanton-specific safety violation emphasizing that colored lights on vehicles, other than red, white and amber, were illegal.

Till said this was his first presentation to a group of students, but his daughter was in one of the classes at CCHS. He has been with ALEA for 22 years.