Grants help area high schools educate new drivers about distracted driving

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FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (1/8/2019) - There is a new push to keep teen drivers off their phones and their eyes on the road.

Michigan State Police is working to make this happen for new drivers. Sixty-two schools across the state were awarded $1,000 Tuesday.

Carman-Ainsworth parents see drivers all the time on their phones. Now they're getting their kids ready to see the issue first hand behind the wheel.

Carman-Ainsworth along with Midland, Essexville Garber and Atherton high schools received a grant by Ford and Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.mThey're participating in the Strive for a Safer Drive campaign.

Carman-Ainsworth's school resource officer says they're working on holding events to educate new drivers. One in the works is a video headset to simulate driving while looking down at their phone.

"Try texting people while driving and a lot of the kid’s crash while doing it. I think it makes them realize how easy it is to get into an accident when you are not paying complete attention the road and your surroundings,” Officer Dexter Taylor said.

Michigan State Police recorded over 2,000 crashes in 2017 because of drivers texting or dialing on their phones. Still, kids are eager to drive and be safe out on the roads.

The top five campaigns will be awarded a cash prize of $500 to $1,500. They'll also receive a free hands-on driving clinic with professional driving instructors.