“Your headlights are on — true or false?”
“Is Route 81 an interstate?”
“Is the car in front of you braking?”
Wayne Harper fired questions at high-schoolers Tuesday as they reviewed the answers from pictures of roadway scenes in a perceptual test during the 21st Annual York/Adams Safe Driving Competition for Youth.
Harper, director of the Center for Traffic Safety, said he also administers the test at schools and community groups and they have never had a score higher than 41 out of 45.
“I don't think I've ever given these with someone saying they didn't learn something,” said Harper. “The more you know and the more aware you are of what's going on around you, the less likely you are to be involved in a crash.”
Students from 15 high schools in York and Adams counties participated Tuesday in the three-part competition that included a written exam, perceptual test and driving range.
The event was organized by the Center for Traffic Safety and the York Area Highway Safety Council and held at Dallastown Area High School.
Northeastern High School won first place again this year, with Fairfield High School in second and Susquehannock High School in third place.
Top students: Northeastern's Cavan Irvine was the individual grand champion. Irvine received a $2,500 scholarship from Glatfelter Insurance Group. He will go on to compete for a $5,000 scholarship in the PMTA's Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth on May 10 at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill.
Second place went to Mark Hoffman, Hanover High School, and third place to Northeastern's Jennifer Cederberg. The second- and third-prize winners will also go on to the state competition.
The York/Adams Chapter of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) gave $1,500 and $500 scholarships to second- and third-prize winners, and they also constructed the driving course for students.
“The parts that I thought were going to be easy were actually harder,” said Anna Stetter, a senior at Southwestern High School. “I practiced parallel parking for a while and there wasn't any.”
Juniors and seniors with a driver's license and no speeding tickets or accidents were eligible to participate.
Chad Forry, who teaches safety and driver education at Northeastern, the defending champions, held an in-class contest to determine which three students would compete.
“Every day we practiced a little,” said Coty Hilbert, a Northeastern senior.
Driving competition winners
The winners of the 21st Annual York/Adams Safe Driving Competition for Youth are:
1. Northeastern, 368 points;
2. Fairfield, 350 points;
3. Susquehannock, 334 points.
1. Cavan Irvine, Northeastern, 137 points (out of 165 possible);
2. Mark Hoffman, Hanover, 129 points;
3. Jennifer Cederberg, Northeastern, 124 points.
Driving range winner: Cavan Irvine, 62 (out of 75)
Perceptual test winner: Kaitlyn Culley, Fairfield, 43 (out of 45 possible)
Written exam: three-way tie of 43 (out of 45 possible) between Alexander Rhone, Southwestern; Lindsey Harrison, Southwestern; and Cheryl McMaster, Spring Grove.