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Oct. 18, 2022

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Toward Zero Deaths program honors Princeton High School SADD organization with the TZD Emerging Leader Award

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The Princeton High School SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) organization was among the 11 individuals and one organization honored by the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) program for educational work to save lives through improved traffic safety efforts.

SADD members were honored with the TZD Emerging Leader Award. This was established to recognize leaders who are students that display excellence in increasing traffic safety awareness. Recipients have demonstrated creativity, vision, leadership and organizational skills as well as the ability to successfully motivate and influence their peers in efforts to move toward zero deaths on Minnesota roads.

The awards were announced at the 2022 Statewide Toward Zero Deaths Conference in St. Cloud. The prestigious traffic safety awards recognize excellence and innovation in reducing the number of life-changing crashes and improving traffic safety on Minnesota roads. They are presented annually by the Minnesota departments of health, public safety and transportation. Nearly 900 traffic safety professionals attended this year’s TZD conference.

In early 2022, Sherburne County’s TZD Safe Roads Coalition held a video contest for high school students that asked them to put together a 30- to 60-second video to show the dangers of speeding, distracted driving or lack of seat belt use. The Princeton High School SADD organization produced an excellent traffic safety video to communicate these messages to their peers.

“It is wonderful to see such talent and passion from students at Princeton High School’s SADD organization,” said Kristine Hernandez, state TZD program coordinator. “It’s also exciting to see this generation of leaders becoming motivated regarding traffic safety education.”

Advisor Kris Alderink; student actors: Alex Frantesl, Bailey McFarland, Desseray Hoppe, and Ellie Horton; student director/producer Pau Valdivieso Segade; and student sound effects and make-up artist Natalie Lawrence created the 47-second video to urge fellow teens to wear their seat belts, avoid speeding and put away distractions when driving. The video was posted to the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and website.

Pau Valdivieso Segade, student director/producer;Natalie Lawrence, student sound effects/make-up artist Kris Alderink, advisor.
Pau Valdivieso Segade, student director/producer; Natalie Lawrence, student sound effects/make-up artist and Kris Alderink, advisor.

SADD members on hand to accept the award included Pau Valdivieso Segade, student director/producer; Natalie Lawrence, student sound effects/make-up artist and Kris Alderink, advisor.

More details on each award, along with information and photos of each award winner, can be found on the 2022 TZD Awards website.

The Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) traffic safety program is an interdisciplinary partnership led by the state departments of health, transportation and public safety. This collaboration began in 2003 and has worked to reduce roadway fatalities by 25 percent.

A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes – education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency medical and trauma response — and everyone doing the right thing when driving.

The East Central Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths program brings area law enforcement, public health educators, engineers and emergency medical and trauma services together to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and severe injuries to zero in East Central Minnesota. The East Central TZD region encompasses Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties.

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