La Crosse students send powerful message against distracted driving

Ninety-eight percent of La Crosse County students admit to using cell phones while driving

The number of accidents caused by distracted driving is on the rise. Ninety-eight percent of high school students right here in La Crosse County admit to using their cellphones while behind the wheel.

To help the situation, a group of high school students are taking part in a public service announcement to show their peers how dangerous distracted driving is.

It was a scary scene at Central High School Tuesday night when a car accident left three Central High School students severely injured, one dead, and dozens distraught. Thankfully, it was just a movie but the scenes that played out showed a very real problem.

“Ninety-eight percent of teenagers have admitted to texting while driving,” Central High School student Sara Brekke said.

That’s why Junior Brekke said a film was the perfect way to show students the dangers of distracted driving.

“It’s entertaining, you can really spread the message, if you have an accident seen that really gets to people,” Brekke said.

Students took the message a step further by acting in the movie.

“Using students as actors, when we go through the situations what we find is it resonates more when they see their friends,” said Troy McDonald, the associate principal at Central High.

The school worked with local emergency crews and a Wisconsin production team to make the situation look as real as possible.

“I actually read real cases, what happened, and I take those moments and I incorporate that into what we are doing,” said director Ron Haese.

After the filming was over, every student who was a part of the production said they are too scared to ever pick up their cellphone while driving again, and they hope that their peers who watch it will be as affected too.

“Because it’s only a matter of time until something really bad happens,” Brekke said.

The distracted driving movie will be shown to a number of area high schools this October, during Distracted Driver Week.