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#eyesUP: Keeping teen drivers safe in the summer

Last year, more than 120 people died on Minnesota roads between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

MINNESOTA, USA — Memorial Day to Labor day, the bookends of a Minnesota summer, are unfortunately the deadliest on our roadways.

124 people died on the roads during that 100 day stretch in 2018.

Distracted drivers are a big part of the problem, and with more teens hitting the road in the summer, high schools across the state are doing their part to make sure students are safe.

Andover High School Principal Becky Brodeur knows teens, cars, and distractions can be a dangerous mix.

"When those two students in Lakeville died a few years ago, it's something we still talk about in the community... this was something they thought was so fun and it ended so tragically," she says.

She's talking about Nerf Wars, the game high school students are still playing.

The game is essentially students shooting each other with Nerf guns and the last one standing wins. 

The game has proven to be deadly, and Principal Brodeur says the school has a zero tolerance policy for it, especially when it comes to teens behind the wheel.

"It's not a school sponsored event, so I don't have a ton of control over it," says Brodeur. "But we do talk to our kids about why it's concerning to us. And I think it's something we do really well here, is to empower kids to know what the boundaries are and to set their own standards, and hold each other accountable."

Students are holding each other accountable. Austin Karger, a senior at Andover High School, says they kicked out a team of students from playing Nerf wars because they got a complaint of reckless driving from a neighbor.

Karger and his classmate Parker Blake started Nerf Wars at their school. They say students know the rules of the game and the road, and they take distractions behind the wheel very seriously.

"There are a lot of texting and driving initiatives that I've seen out on the roads, and teachers just telling us to be safe, because the teachers do care about us," said Blake. "There's an atmosphere around here that speaks safety while you are on the road and with your friends."

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