ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Students from the Robbinsville High School Class of 2021 are participating in the 11th Annual “U Got Brains Champion Schools Program,” sponsored by the Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey. Students participating in this annual program have been tasked with creating a peer-drive campaign that demonstrates safe driving.
This year Robbinsville High School has directed their campaign’s focus on the dangers of distracted driving. Through their research, students learned that cell phone and texting laws are only effective when paired with high-visibility enforcement efforts, such as the use of electronic signs. As a result, the students created a campaign focused on implementing these high-visibility enforcement efforts.
The first implementation was aided by the Robbinsville Police Department who displayed the slogan “If you’re texting, who’s driving” on several electronic signs throughout the township. This slogan was the winning submission of a schoolwide competition that kicked off this year’s campaign.
In conjunction with April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, students created videos to increase the visibility of their campaign messaging. The first video was a student-created public service announcement reminding their peers to “Just Drive,” which also served as an entry into the New Jersey Manufacturers “Just Drive” competition. An additional 18 short videos stating a statistic about distracted driving and including the campaign slogan were made and aired during the daily announcements at the high school.
In an effort to expand our viewing audience beyond the high school and Robbinsville community, the students teamed up with The TV Truck to transport their big messages of safe driving to a big screen shown throughout the region and across state lines. The truck will be traveled around Mercer and Bucks counties on April 19th, stopping at RHS to show a series of short videos about driving and ride-share safety.
Later that evening, there was a parent-student virtual presentation called Share The Keys, presented by NJM Insurance Group. Students wanted to be sure that parents were included in their campaign as parental involvement aids in reducing teen driving crashes.
The students would like to thank Brain Injury Alliance for allowing them to participate in this year’s competition, as well as The TV Truck, Robbinsville C.A.R.E. Coalition, Just Between Friends Mercer County, and the #WHATSMYNAME Foundation for their generous donations and support in helping to implement high-visibility enforcement efforts aimed at reducing distracted driving. The #WHATSMYNAME Foundation was started by the Robbinsville Josephson family, whose daughter Samantha, a former RHS graduate, was brutally murdered when she was targeted by a person posing as a rideshare driver in 2019. Her parents’ mission is to educate everyone on rideshare safety.
At the conclusion of the U Got Brains program, three winning schools will be selected by a panel of judges to receive a grand-prize of $10,000 cash donated to their school by Founding Sponsor, NJM Insurance Group. The program is fortunate to have a group of community safety leaders who have chosen to support these efforts through sponsorship, including New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, State Farm Insurance, National Road Safety Foundation, Allstate, Volvo, Nikhil Badlani Foundation, State Farm Insurance, Teen Safe Driving Coalition, New Jersey Education Association, and AAA.