Students join repair shops for auto safety project

Students from the Vermont Teen Leadership Safety program chapters in Proctor High School, Mill River Union High School, and Stafford Technical Center began an unusual partnership with several Rutland County auto repair shops.

The proactive partnership is aimed at reducing excessive speed on roads and highways and the many crashes which result from speeding.

The Vermont Teen Leadership Safety Program, an organization of high school students from about 40 area schools which focuses on highway safety issues, decided that they wanted to work on a project to reduce the incidence of speeding and the deaths and injuries resulting from speeding.

They came up with a theme for the campaign, Slow Down, Stick Around.

The theme is printed on ribbons with a card explaining the risks of speeding. The plan was to disseminate the ribbons at highway rest areas and visitors centers, but when they were printed, other outlets were considered, such as auto body and repair shops, chambers of commerce, and auto dealers.

B&B Auto Electric & Radiator Service on Granger Street in Rutland was selected as the first auto repair shop partner. Students researched data involving speeding and generated a lot of discussion locally-for example, 36 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes are speed related. As speed increases, the likelihood of a fatality increases,. Young males are the most likely to be involved in a fatal speed-related auto and motorcycle crashes.

Students involved in delivering the ribbons and cards to Kevin Brown and Paul Bogucki, the co-owners of B&B Auto, were Taylor Trombley and Colleen Knowles of Proctor High School and VTLSP advisor,Claire Molner, Morgan Ballard of the Mill River Union VTLSP, Lt. Kevin Geno of the Rutland City Police Department, Rutland County Sheriff Sgt. Jeff Stephenson, State Trooper Blake Cushing, and three Stafford Technical Center VTLSP students-Alan Greenier of Tinmouth, and Korey Russell of Clarendon, and Nicole Bogucki of Poultney, daughter of Paul Bogucki.

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