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Tahoma elementary students participate in Safe Driving Art Contest
On May 9 over 1,400 students in grades 3 in 4 in the Tahoma School District participated in assemblies as part of the Safe Driving Art Contest.
This contest involves a theme related to school bus safety and distracted driving and is sponsored by the Washington State Patrol, Maple Valley Police Department, Tahoma School District Transportation and King County Emergency Medical Services.
The assemblies were attended by Washington State Patrol Trooper Greg Ulrich and Maple Valley Police Department Police Chief Michelle Bennett. Trooper Ulrich and Chief Bennett discussed the importance of school bus safety, distracted driving and the importance of good behavior while traveling as a passenger.
Trooper Ulrich had students enter a “distracted driving zone” where they were tested on the ability to walk through an arranged course while blind-folded. This assisted in demonstrating the dangers related to distracted driving.
The WSP and MVPD have been partnering in Operation S.A.F.E (Speed, Aggressive Driving, Fail to Stop and Enforcement), a proactive and educational approach to keeping students safe when exiting and entering school buses while stopped.
With the assistance of KCEMS, the WSP and MVPD has added distracted driving to their enforcement and education activities. A one day enforcement emphasis in February saw 25 violations that included speed, cellphone use and “paddle board” violations. Last month a subject driving near a school bus in Maple Valley was arrested for DUI.
The winner of the contest will receive a lap top computer and their artwork will be displayed on a billboard located near the intersection of SR 169/Cedar Grove Rd.