North East ISD students encourage safe driving habits

Johnson H.S. club reminds peers, community members about dangers of distracted driving

SAN ANTONIO – It’s back to classes for students in North East ISD, and some of those students are working to remind the community about safe driving habits, like awareness in school zones.

The Johnson High School PTSA Safe Driving Club has been around since 2012, according to its founder and sponsor, Melinda Cox.

“I wanted the children, the kids, the students at Johnson High School to have a chance to be advocates, to be empowered voices and to say, ‘hey, you know what, I’m new to this game and I deserve to be able to be safe on the road,’” Cox said.

The club spreads its messages through signs, billboard, and with public officials, recently pushing to have safe driving stickers included in all new driver packets in Texas

Some of the members, like current president Julia Varghese, have been part of the club even before they started driving. She’s getting her license next month.

“And as new drivers, high schoolers, it’s very easy for us to get distracted and think that we’re good enough drivers to go on our phone when that’s not the case for anybody,” Varghese explained

More than signs and billboards, other members feel talking one on one with their peers is just as important.

“It’s sort of scary to know that kids my age are driving all around us,” said Anna Mei Quadrato, who creates art and handles marketing for the club. “I like to spread the message to my teammates and coaches and such just to make sure that they’re being safe as well.”

Cox said school and district administrators have been very supportive of the students and their message. Her advice for other schools considering such a club: let the students lead the way.

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About the Author:

Samuel King anchors traffic during GMSA and reports on transportation and mobility issues across the San Antonio region. He joined the KSAT 12 news team in 2020 from KUT in Austin. Samuel was born in Queens, spent time growing up in South Alabama and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.