Students buckle up for Safety Day

A student rides a 5 mpg crash simulator at Safety Day.

Thomas Jefferson Middle School students participated in a "Safety Day" Wednesday to promote safe driving habits.

Both the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Department of Transportation held activities at the event, which included a seat belt buckling race and a crash simulator.

"They are just about ready to get their permits and we want to open their eyes at that point in time to say 'Hey, every time you get in that vehicle you're in charge, and not only should you have your seatbelt on but every individual inside that car should have a seatbelt on as well," Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Highway Patrol said.

This event comes one day after the National Transportation Safety Board announced their recommendation that states lower the legal limit for drinking and driving from a blood alcohol concentration of .08 to .05.

"My understanding about .05, it's about two drinks in an hour. That does depend on the size of the person, maybe what they've had to eat, things of that nature but about two drinks in an hour would be normal," Reinsch said.

Reinsch also said alcohol affects everyone differently, so it's difficult to put a number on what is safe.

"From the very first drink on as soon as alcohol starts to enter the system the first thing it does affect before anything else is their decision making or in other words it affects their judgement," he said.

Megan Valleroy, an eighth grade teacher, at the school said she agrees with lowering the legal limit.

"It's not that hard to call a friend, call a family member, get a designated driver. To me it's not worth it. I've had a family member die because of a drunk driver so I basically have a zero tolerance."