Area high schools are coming together in an effort to prevent crashes like the ones that took seven of their own.
136 students from 17 area high schools met for the first time Monday night as part of the new Area 61 Teen Coalition Against Destructive Driving. Coalition Chairman and Shallowater High School student Bryson McCarty said, "We've had seven teen deaths in the past month and we felt we needed to do something about that because that is seven too many."
NewsChannel 11's Safety Solutions has been following Shallowater High School's Project Ignition which is an effort to create safer drivers. After the deaths of seven area students, the group decided to create the teen driving council.
Monday, teens from across the area joined that effort. The group elected officers and brainstormed their mission. One goal is to make sure teens are getting the message from other teens.
Coalition Second Chair and Lubbock Cooper High School student Heath Heinrich said, "You hear it everyday and it's like okay mom whatever and you don't really think about. When you have kids come up and they say hey slow down, it's a school zone, you could hit a kid, and then it's more meaningful."
The family of Frenship teen Stephanie Arriaga, killed in a crash last month, attended the meeting to show their support.
City and county leaders also voiced their support. County Commissioner Bill McCay told the teens, "I want to support you as a parent and as a Lubbock County Commissioner. Whatever we can do, we want to participate and help in any way we can."
Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones added, "You wouldn't be here tonight if you weren't concerned about what we're concerned about and that's safety. We're losing too many of our children, too many of our babies."
If you want more information about the new coalition, call Cindy Couch at Shallowater High School. That number is 832-4535.
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