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Wauwatosa student collects crash debris for reckless driving project

By Kaylee Staral,


Over 200 students at Wauwatosa West High School presented on different issues facing the community at a public policy fair.

One of the most common projects at the fair was reckless driving.

John Batory is a junior at Wauwatosa West High School. After personal experiences with reckless driving, he used his project as an opportunity to speak up.

“I was horrified. It could’ve been a lot worse if I didn’t realize he was there at the last second,” Batory remembered about one of the accidents.

He spent roughly seven weeks researching the issue and looking into possible solutions.

“Education is super important especially when it comes to driving, but then you also have a lot of kids that simply don’t care,” Batory explained.

That’s why, after driving past a crash, he picked up the mangled car and motorcycle parts, and included them in his project. He hopes to get others his age involved.

“I would take these pieces and bring them into school, and if anyone asked me a question, I would talk to them about this,” Batory said while looking at the broken car parts.

He also took matters into his own hands, creating Instagram posts and custom QR codes.

“I figured I could leave something like these QR codes. I left these around big intersections, and if you scan them, it says ‘stop looking at your phone while driving’,” Batory said.

Social Studies and English teacher at Wauwatosa West, Chris Lazarski, said this fair is a great way to get the youth thinking about problems in the community.

“Every year, there’s usually an issue du-jour. This year, it happens to be reckless driving. A lot of students have gravitated towards that topic,” Lazarski explained.

Community volunteers from past students to the Wauwatosa police chief listened and graded the students’ presentations.

“It shows that the students have a deep capacity to think thoughtfully and critically about what’s happening in the community, and in some ways, are really concerned, impacted and affected by some of these issues,” Lazarski said.

This was the 13th public policy fair hosted by the school.

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