Local student earns scholarship for educating peers about distracted driving

ESCANABA — Back in August, ABC 10 brought you the story of a statewide scholarship opportunity organized to raise awareness for distracted driving. As it turns out, one of the winners of this year’s scholarship goes to high school right here in the Upper Peninsula.

Escanaba High School senior Jon Perrault earned the Kelsey’s Law Scholarship with a graphic design that portrays how quickly driving distractions can result in tragedy. Michigan Auto Law created the scholarship to help get teens to convince their peers to put down distractions while behind the wheel. Perrault’s graphic is intended to be easily distributed through the channels that teens frequent.

“We’re always on social media. We’re going through Twitter, and oftentimes our parents have a tough time getting the point across to us,” said Perrault. “Where if we can retweet something about distracted driving on Twitter or like something on Facebook or Snapchat, it’s a lot more impactful.”

“Teens might not always listen to parents, but they will be more receptive to listening to their peers,” said Steven Gursten, Attorney and Head of Michigan Auto Law. “I’m really, really impressed that he’s gotten so involved in spreading a message that can hopefully save so many lives.”

Kelsey’s Law – the scholarship’s namesake – was enacted after the 2010 death of Sault Ste. Marie teen Kelsey Raffaele in a cell phone-related car accident. It prohibits Michigan teens from using cell phones while under a Level 2 graduated license. For more information on the Kelsey’s Law Scholarship, click here.

[Photo Courtesy Jon Perrault]