Woman creates program after late husband to crack down on distra - WNEM TV 5

Woman creates program after late husband to crack down on distracted driving

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MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) -

Distracted driving is becoming one of the leading causes of accidents on the road.

It becomes even more of a threat in the summer as more people pack the roads heading north.

Distracted driving contributes to almost 5,000 deaths every year, according to AAA.

When a driver is distracted they can spend close to 30 seconds looking away from the road. AAA said some of the biggest culprits are teenagers. They said teens are distracted about 25 percent of the time they are behind the wheel.

A local widow is trying to help put a stop to teens driving distracted by offering them a chance to earn a scholarship if they pledge to drive safely.

Sarah Schieber said it was an idea her late husband had.

"We call it Project 111 because 111 was Chad's badge number at the Midland Police Department," Schieber said.

Chad Schieber was a Midland police officer who passed away from a heart attack during the Chicago Marathon in 2007. Before he died he told his wife about a way officers could crack down on distracted driving.

"He thought, what if instead of just giving tickets as police officers, I started giving incentives," Sarah Schieber said.

That legacy lives on through Project 111.

On June 3 local seniors had the chance to win big for good driving behavior.

"Which is a $1,000 scholarship for Midland High and a $1,000 scholarship at Dow High," Schieber said.

All students at the two high schools have a chance to win, but there are some guidelines. They have to have a clean driving record with no tickets, pass their classes and stay out of trouble. If they follow the guidelines their name goes into a drawing.

"I feel like it's really helpful, at least in high school to motivate people to drive safe cause nothing motivates better than money," said Aaron Mealley, student.

Chad Schieber's son Noah is a senior at Midland High School and he said his dad's dream is changing lives.

"I think it's awesome to see his legacy and dream being carried on through this program and it's doing awesome things," Noah said. "A ton of my friends think it's an awesome program and they loved winning and seeing the winners."

Sarah Schieber said the program is so successful and has made a difference in the community. She is working on getting it into other schools.

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