UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – AAA and Missouri lawmakers are partnering to make St. Louis and state roads safer, and they are doing that with the help of second-grade kids.

Second-graders have a long time before they get behind the wheel, but with the help of a special book, AAA is teaching kids that they can already start making a positive impact even if they are not driving.

State Senator Brian Williams paid a visit to Pershing Elementary in University City. He read the children’s book Sam’s Trip in The Beach.

The book was made by – all to teach kids how to speak up if they see bad driving habits. There are instances where Sam had to speak up because his dad was texting while driving, or his mom was putting on makeup while driving.

The kids also completed an interactive online driving safety course – learning different aspects of roadway safety like seat belts, bicycling, and distracted driving.

Senator Williams said the state has been seeing an uptick in distracted driving – especially in the St. Louis area. He explained that everyone can do their part to make St. Louis roads safer now and in the future.

“We want to make sure folks are paying attention while they drive,” Williams expressed. “They are also speaking up when they also see someone not doing the right thing – a safer place to drive in.”

“You should always put your phone down while driving,” Pershing student Adrienne Rice expressed.

According to AAA, Missouri’s traffic fatalities reached their highest level in more than 15 years. In 2022, there were 1,057 deaths on our roadways.