CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, New Jersey — Burke Motor Group has assembled a safe-driving campaign, Driven to Action, targeting area teens to minimize the dangers of distracted driving and give them an incentive to do so.
The dealership group, which sells Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Subaru and Volkswagen vehicles, put together an hour-long assembly for Middle Township High School and its 900 students and faculty to emphasize the perils of unsafe driving behaviors, including texting while driving.
The assembly included hands-on activities, a rap song, a PowerPoint presentation and a live remote broadcast from a local radio station.
"My son, Doug, the dealership operations manager and a fourth-generation Burke, pointed out that we have all these safe cars on the road but what we really need is safe drivers," Francey Burke, director of advertising and community relations, told Edmunds.
Distracted driving is a major problem, especially for teen drivers. The federal government estimates that 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the accident. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
After the program, the students were encouraged to take Burke's Driven to Action pledge to drive safely, register online and then pick up a rewards card at the dealership. It offers them multiple gifts with purchase at area businesses, including a pizza parlor, a bike shop and a free oil change and tire rotation at Burke Motor Group.
"By having businesses involved, we show the students that the entire community cares about them and wants to reward them for pledging to drive safely," Burke said.
Burke also approached the local police station, giving them a list of registered card-holders. The police will take away the rewards card should the driver ever be found driving unsafely, doing what they pledged not to do.
"Our goal isn't to have an advertising component for the Burke Motor Group," Burke said. "After 103 years in the business, our community knows we want to help and we're very altruistic."
Edmunds says: This dealership group understands the dangers of distracted driving and wants to make a difference with teens.