(TEMPERANCE, Mich. – May 15, 2014) – Whether its sorting a deck of playing cards by suit or trying to drive a car while looking at a cell phone, the human brain can only focus on so much at one time. That was the message Thursday delivered by ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Justin Boston to hundreds of high school students.
“Distracted driving is dangerous and something I never had to really deal with when I was in high school,” Boston said. “It’s really important that the students hear how dangerous this is. You need to think before you drive.”
Boston is the national spokesman for People Against Distracted Driving (PADD), an organization co-founded by New Jersey residents Lindsey Giannini and Mike Kellenyi. The organization started four months before Kellenyi’s daughter, Nikki, died as the result of a car crash in which she was a passenger.
“These weren’t bad kids,” Kellenyi told the sophomore and juniors at Bedford High School in Temperance, Michigan. “These were kids just like you, out on a Saturday night.”
Boston, the reigning SCOTT Rookie of the Year winner, has been using the ARCA circuit to help spread PADD’s message. Giannini will be competing for Miss New Jersey in a couple of weeks and PADD is her platform.
“People think districted driving is a statistic, but it’s not,” Kellenyi said. “It’s real life. It really happens.”
Boston, who drives for Venturini Motorsports, has been helping to distribute “Don’t Text and Drive” signs to tracks on the ARCA national tour. Tom Venturini, from Venturini Motorsports, is helping on the national campaign as well.
“We’re not going to change the world,” he said. “But, if we can convince one student to put down his or her phone, maybe on the way home today, it will make a difference.”
The appearance at Bedford High School – located about a mile from the home offices of ARCA – was part of the on-going ARCA Safety Initiative as well.
Boston, who is the northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan area this weekend to race in the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care at Toledo Speedway, told the teenagers to not only put down their cell phones while driving, but when with friends, too.
“I put it down around my friends, too,” he said. “I enjoy my friends more than I enjoy my phone.”
- By Doug Donnelly, arcaracing.com