Oklahoma Challenge

The Oklahoma Challenge safety event will potentially see 300-500 area high school students from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Sept. 14 in Duncan at The Simmons Center. The event focuses on teaching students safe driving habits.

A local agency partnered with a non-profit to inspire teens with tips to maintain driver safety.

Duncan State Farm Agents partnered together through a grant with the teen driver safety non-profit Oklahoma Challenge to host a safety event. The safety event will potentially see 300-500 area high school students, from 10:30 a.m. to noon Sept. 14 in Duncan at The Simmons Center.

Rusty England, State Farm, said they will have a booth area set up during the event.

“This is a fun event that has the potential to influence area youth,” England said.

The Oklahoma FCCLA Students will have the opportunity to attend this safe driving event in Duncan.

According to a release, the event will encompass a crashed motorcycle, climbing up in semi-trucks, driving with impaired goggles around cones, as well as a high energy game show dozens more safe-driving and interactive-learning opportunities.

Richard Coberg, Ph.D., Founder of the Oklahoma Challenge Project, said the event will address safe driving practices.

“The Oklahoma Challenge experience is unique because it encourages teens to address safe driving by taking this information back to their schools and communities and to share the message with their peers,” Coberg said. "We are proud to be working with Oklahoma's FCCLA student group to have teens talking to teens about this lifesaving issue. They listen to each other.”

Nele Rogers, Associate Director of Oklahoma Challenge, said “the goal of Oklahoma Challenge is to reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries throughout the state due to distracted driving and to improve overall driving safety for young drivers.”

Rogers said during the conference, leaders from over 50 schools will learn more about distracted driving, laws and how to raise awareness.

“They return home to share the message, teen to teen,” Rogers said. “They have access to information, statistics, speakers, and other programs from the OklahomaChallenge.org website to enrich their projects in their school and community.”

Linda Terrell, Oklahoma Challenge Director, said many people don’t see the severity of distracted driving.

“Most people do not realize the enormity of the distracted driving epidemic, which disproportionally hurts and kills young drivers, who are still learning to be good drivers, yet are often driving distracted. It is a deadly combination." Terrell said. “The problem is very serious in Oklahoma, where traffic crashes account for about 44% of all teen deaths, the second leading cause of death in teens.”

According to a release, other groups presenting traffic safety information at the conference will include Safe Kids, Seatbelts Are For Everyone, ATV Ridesafe Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Insurance Department, Farm Bureau, the National Guard, Oklahoma Trucking Association, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Move Over and the Work Zone Safe program.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. with opening remarks and at 10 a.m. the FCCLA workshops will begin. From 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., OK Challenge Booths will be available along with outdoors activities. From 12:15-1:15 p.m., ThinkFast will take the spotlight, and then from 1:15-1:45 p.m., chapter planning for OK Challenge by Districts will take place. The event will have a closing session from 1:45-2 p.m.

The Simmons Center is located at 800 Chisholm Trail Pkwy in Duncan.

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