Officials hope wrecked car sends a message

Officials hope wrecked car sends a message

A badly damaged red car sits in the front yard of Quakertown Community High School as a reminder to motorists: Take a moment to reflect on the impact of vehicle crashes as inexperienced drivers head to prom, graduation, parties and the beach. School officials hope drivers up and down Park Ave. will get the message. “People are getting out more as COVID restrictions ease and they’ll be driving, many with a new license,” QCHS Principal Mattias van 't Hoenderdaal said. “Please be smart. Please be careful. Be responsible and show concern not only for your own safety but for the safety of others.” School Resource Officer Bob Lee arranged for the car to be delivered free of charge by Bucks County Auto. Warning signs, donated by Anvil Signs, stated “Wear your seatbelt,” “Don’t text and drive,” Drive sober,” and “Watch your speed.” Each sign’s message provides a valuable component for safe driving. “This is a good time for parents to have a conversation with their young driver about the rules of the road and the importance of a driver staying focused on the road,” Officer Lee said. “And if you’re a passenger, have the courage to speak up if you feel uncomfortable with any unsafe driving.” Quakertown Police responded to 494 crashes in 2019 and 324 in 2020. Of those crashes, 120 in 2019 had injuries and/or inoperable vehicles. In 2020, the number was 105. According to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, drivers ages 16 to 19, per mile driven, have crash rates approximately four times greater than those of drivers ages 20 and older. A leading contributor is driver inexperience. Even more scary, traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and young adults. More than 5,500 young people die every year in car crashes and thousands more are injured.Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.