Pepperell students win big at national summit with Cycle Clap presentation

Representing Pepperell High School’s Teens in the Driver Seat program, Eva Ellenburg and Alana Ellenburg (in center), attend a national conference in Texas.

Pepperell High School’s Teens in the Driver Seat chapter attended the Teens in the Driver Seat Summit 2019 held in San Marcos, Texas, in December.

TDS is a national peer-to-peer driving safety program sponsored in Georgia through the Georgia Department of Transportation and General Motors. Car crashes account for more teen deaths than any other cause, accounting for nearly one third of all teen deaths in America each year.

There were 2,364 teens in the U.S. aged 16-19 killed in car crashes in 2017. That’s the equivalent of a school bus loaded with teens crashing once every week for an entire school year. For every American teen killed in a car crash, about 100 more are injured. In short, six teens aged 16 to 19 died every day due to motor vehicle crashes, and hundreds more are injured.

“We, students and adults, must be vigilant with our continued efforts to educate new drivers, as well as refresh current drivers regarding driving safety. We must continue to think outside the box and develop new initiatives that keep driver awareness a priority,” said Pepperell TDS Co-sponsor Alana Ellenburg.

PHS introduced their new and developing campaign at the summit. Cycle Clap is a motorcycle awareness campaign aimed at making drivers more attentive, alert, and aware of motorcycles on the roads. PHS students are currently working with HindLight Media to develop a logo design, presentations, a social media marketing campaign, and even a commercial.

Cycle Clap is similar to Punch Bug, but instead of punching the individual in the car with you, you recognize the presence of a motorcycle and clap if you are a passenger. If you are the driver, you simply say “clap” while keeping both hands on the steering wheel.

They won All-Star School, receiving a trophy and $1,000 for their chapter.

Eva Ellenburg, president of PHS TDS/Students Against Destructive Decisions, has been on the National Peer-to-Peer TDS Teen Advisory Board for three years and is serving as National Co-chair this year.

Laura Byrd, co-sponsor for Pepperell TDS/SADD won her first SponStar this year. TDS students nominate sponsors for this award. Byrd was nominated by Bailey Cordle who, in her nomination submission, stated “Mrs. Byrd is a wonderful lady who has helped with every activity PHS TDS/SADD has completed from when I was a freshman to now and I am a freshman in college. She is such an amazing woman. We love her for everything she does for our group.”

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