Student learns safety pays

A Watertown High School freshman is the winner of a $10,000 prize – and another $10,000 for his school – by learning to be a safe driver.

Kasen Bender was announced the winner of this year’s Lesson Learned SD program during an all-school assembly at Watertown High School where he was presented with a $10,000 cash prize. Bender also gets to choose a Watertown High School program which will receive a $10,000 award as well. The Lesson Learned program is in its 8th year and is sponsored by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety and the South Dakota Broadcasters Association.

Kasen Bender collects his safety-based award

“The Lesson Learned program grabs the attention of young drivers and encourages them to start using the habits that will help make them safe drivers throughout their lives,” said Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary, Robert Perry.

Students answered safe driving questions on the Lesson Learned SD website and were entered into the drawing. This year, there were over 5,000 entries.

“The program rewards students and their schools for participating in safe driver education,” said Steve Willard, president of the Broadcasters Association. “It’s an important message and one that can embed safe driving habits for life.”

South Dakota’s Office of Highway Safety is an agency of the state Department of Public Safety.