Red Bank students use hashtag to target distracted driving

Source: GMN News
A mysterious phrase greets visitors upon entering Red Bank Regional High School (RBR), written on several posters throughout the hallways: #RBRHSDBD.
“No one knew what it meant,” RBR student Eric Banal said. “They saw so many of the posters…And everyone was, like, ‘What does this mean?’ ”
#RBRHSDBD — which stands for Red Bank Regional High School Don’t Be Distracted — is the campaign name that students in Carl Grillo’s Interactive Media class have created to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
As part of their PR initiative, the students distributed the posters throughout the school, with the intention of piquing their classmates’ interest in just what exactly the phrase meant.
RBR is one of 59 schools throughout New Jersey competing in the fifth annual U Got Brains Champion School Program, a competition designed to bring awareness to teenagers about motor vehicle crashes.
Late last year, the students in Grillo’s class made a video in conjunction with RBR’s Project Prom activity. The video emphasized the horrors of drunken driving and simulated an actual car crash, with teachers and students pretending to be injured passengers.
“We got different angles of the car accident — getting the EMS coming through the parking lot, and we got up close to the people in the car accident,” student Justin Delaney said.
After submitting their video to the U Got Brains competition, Grillo’s class was immediately propelled into the second round, and received $1,000 to record a second video and create a PR campaign.
The schools that create the best campaigns will be named the winners at an awards showcase and luncheon in June.
“They’re excited about it,” said Lori Todd, student assistance counselor at RBR. “They came up with so many of the ideas. They put this stuff out in the hallways, on all of the walls, all over the place.”
As the students prepare to make their second video, Grillo and his students are busy raising awareness of #RBRHSDBD throughout the school.
“We’re getting T-shirts, we bought the banners, we’re getting wristbands … and in the next two weeks, we’re going to have the kids sit at lunch and have the students take a pledge not to be distracted while driving,” he said.
Their next video will take place in a courtroom, in order to emphasize the legal consequences that can come from distracted driving.
“Our main idea is to show all the distracted driving [scenarios], like drinking and driving, texting and driving, putting on makeup and driving,” student Haley Watson said. “A person would get into a car crash, and then we would show the accident and the courtroom scene where they’re getting convicted.”

To follow Grillo’s class and learn more about #RBRHSDBD, follow the campaign on Twitter at @RBRHSDBD.

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