New wheels in the Valley to teach distracted driving

A new car to show teens the dangers of distracted driving will be in the area soon.

The Valley United Way’s Special Needs Grants Program recently awarded $2,000 to Griffin Hospital’s Valley Parish Nurse (VPN) Program and Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley to purchase an additional pedal cart and key chains for the Teen Safe Driving Program.

The pedal carts will show teenagers how difficult it is to drive and text at the same time and how blurred vision caused by drinking makes driving dangerous.

Walking safety, too

The new pedal cart also will be used for the Safe Kids’ Pedestrian Safety Program to teach younger children how difficult it is for a car to stop at fast speeds, so they know to take precautions when crossing the street.

The flashlight key chains have “Friends don’t let friends drive distracted” imprinted on them and will be given to teens.

“The pedal carts help us educate teens and children because it’s interactive,” said Cathi Kellett, special programs coordinator for VPN. “If you have that hands-on component, they understand more about driving and road safety than just reading a pamphlet.”