For the three McHenry County high school students who won cars when their key started the ignition at Crystal Lake’s Advocate Good Shepherd-sponsored awards ceremony Thursday, ownership of their own car was the highlight of the day.
For the mission of Operation Click, however, the big deal was the announcement by volunteer President Sean McGrath of the American Automobile Association’s decision to become a sponsor of the teen driving safety program.
AAA, which wishes to expand its automobile insurance business, apparently has concluded that the demonstrable success of Operation Click in getting teens to buckle up would be helpful in that effort.
Locally, Operation Click has been impeded in its expansion goals, for example, in Carpentersville District 300, because of Allstate Insurance’s Operation Teen Safe Driving.
Operation Click has cost each participating school $750, while Allstate pays schools $2,000 a year to participate in its program.
Triple-A has decided to match Allstate’s gift.
$2,000 to each school that joins the Operation Click program.
And Operation Click has decided to find a way to replace the $750 a school buy-in price. Next year, no such payment will be needed for a school to participate.
Another potential sponsor is AT&T.
Former Northwest Herald Assistant Publisher David Strahl, External Affairs Director for the company, presented a tear-provoking 11-minute video of teens who had been killed while texting.
The take-away message was the question:
“Would you close you eyes five seconds while driving a car?”
Here’s the crash scene of a Missouri girl who did:
Cary Police Chief Steve Casstevens was so impressed with the video that he wondered if AT&T would like to show it at the International Conference of Chiefs of Police this summer in the upper Intermountain West. AT&T’s Strahl gave the Illinois Police Chiefs Association Traffic Safety Chairman a copy on the spot.
Other articles on the 2011 Operation Click awards: