On Aug. 1 the “hands-free” law went into effect and the Monticello high school hockey team hosted a car wash to promote the new driving regulation.
Thursday marked the day that Minnesota said no to distracted driving. For some it’s just another day marking another rule, but for others it’s personal and it’s something that deserves awareness.
Julie LaRoque, secretary of the Just Drive Committee, thought the new law was an opportunity to plan an event that would allow locals in Monticello to participate and show their support.
LaRoque’s nephew, Phil LaVallee was killed in 2013 by a distracted driver while on a run.
“That’s how Just Drive got started,” LaRoque said. “Phil’s coaches and parents and family and friends started it about five years ago. My sister and her husband (Phil’s parents) have been very instrumental in getting the new law in place, they’re advocates. I’m so proud of them and I’m so happy that this law is here because we need to have safer driving.”
Just Drive teamed up with Moose Hockey and Cielo Car Wash and Detailing.
Tracy Hinz, a parent of Moose senior hockey player Huntley Hinz, asked LaRoque about the Just Drive group and thought it would be a great way for the hockey community to give back.
The hockey players gathered in April and were asked to come up with volunteering opportunities to take part in as a team, and Just Drive was the number one option. That’s how the car wash was organized.
Another hockey mom, Sonja Bocken was a part of organizing the car wash and expressed her support to raise awareness.
“I think it’s great to get the adults and kids off the phone, but just bringing everyone together and making everyone aware is very important,” Bocken said.
According to justdriveday.org, the mission is to end distracted driving for good and raise awareness by creating a day every year on a Saturday in April in Monticello.
The car wash also raised awareness.
People drove up to Cielo Car Wash, signed a pledge, received information on the “hands-free” law, and were greeted by the hockey players and a free car wash.
Those who received a free car wash pledged to be attentive drivers, prepare before driving, not be distracted and ask others to attentive drivers as well.
Dave Ryan from KDWB held a hands-free challenge where people could post on Instagram or Twitter about the new law with the hash-tag #KDWBHandsFree and said he would donate a dollar for every post, up to $500. So the hockey team did a group post and raised money towards the cause.
For more information you can visit www.justdriveday.org.
Reach Jessie Meyen at firstname.lastname@example.org