Over 100,000 fatal accidents occur each year, many of which can be attributed to “distracted driving,” or more specifically, texting while driving. The Eastchester 13th Annual Traffic Expo Safety Day, held last Saturday at Eastchester Town Hall, aimed to emphasize this fact in the hopes of preventing accidents and decreasing the loss of life. Each person, both young and old, left the event with a fuller understanding of the dangers of distracted driving and now have the responsibility of spreading the day’s message in order to make our community a safer and healthier place.
Headed by Dr. Elliot Senderoff, this event was host to different exhibits that were both fun and informational. Each child was given a “passport” to be presented at each station, and after visiting all ten, were given a free raffle ticket. Many local restaurants such as American Bistro, Eastchester Odyssey Diner, and Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria donated generous amounts in gift cards for the cause. Booths included free vision testing care of New York Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital, a martial arts station held by Westchester Krav Maga, and an on-site poster contest table. Representatives from the AT&T phone company were also present with their “It Can Wait” demonstration, allowing individuals to experience what happens when one texts and drives with a true to life car simulation.
The students of Westchester Krav Maga and the dancers of Studio B were also given a chance to showcase their talents as they performed for those present at the event. Under the instruction of Vladimir Zolottev, white belts and black belts alike presented various routines and wowed the audience with their discipline and skill in self defense. The ballerinas and tap dancers of Studio B performed their numbers in full costume from their Wizard of Oz themed show.
Most importantly, the winners of the Traffic Expo Safety Day Essay Contest were announced and given the opportunity to read their suggestions on how to make the streets of our town safer. Fourth grader Sophia Kolindreu highlighted the importance of communicating with our neighbors and making a team effort to shovel streets in order to maintain safety during the winter. Sydney Boyer of the sixth grade brought to light the added benefit of the installation of bicycle lanes and bicycle sharing stations in our community. Not only would this increase the collective safety of our townspeople, but also, the individual health of those who opt for this environment friendly mode of transportation. Lastly, EHS senior Claire Teahan read aloud her incredibly clever poem “I Am A Good Driver, A Good Driver I Am,” inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” which accentuated the vulnerability of being a new driver and the precautions one must take when behind the wheel. As a reward, Claire was given an engraved plaque as well as $1,000 prize.
It is important that we educate the youth of our town about the dangers of distracted driving, for they the future of Eastchester. It is both heartwarming and inspiring to see these young students propose such grand ideas in order to improve the safety of our town and work towards making a difference. In the words of Dr. Senderoff, “Parents are losing children, children are losing parents, and we’ve got to do better.” Events such as Traffic Expo Safety Day bring us one step closer to achieving this goal. Hopefully, with the raised awareness that this day brings each year, we keep in mind the consequences that our actions have and take extra caution when behind the wheel, not only for our own safety, but for that of those around us.