The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 21, 2013

OHS alumnus speaks against drinking and driving

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa High School alumnus Todd Rabideau told students Friday afternoon that an accident caused by drinking or texting is “100 percent avoidable” and that it depends on young people making good decisions.

Rabideau, who graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 1987, is a Christian speaker from Power Up Ministries in Branson, Mo. He gave a presentation to high school students about drinking and driving, and texting and driving at George Daily Auditorium. The presentation was part of Celebrate My Drive sponsored by Kelli Steil at State Farm Insurance. National Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 18 through 26.

“I’m not here to talk at you. I’m here to talk with you,” Rabideau told the audience that packed George Daily Auditorium.

Rabideau said the privilege to drive a car is “an awesome thing. … With that comes an awesome responsibility.”

Rabideau said statistics show teens are more likely than adults to get involved in an auto accident. Driving while impaired by either drinking or texting will make that more likely. While everyone knows that underage drinking is against the law, some will make the wrong decision and drive while they are impared, Ribideau said.

If you make one wrong decision, “it’s not just about you. You’re interconnected,” he said. “Your decisions affect everyone around you.”

Ribideau said he made that wrong decision.

“I started drinking at age 15,” he said. Ribideau said when he entered the U.S. Navy, he drank more.

“I didn’t want to quit and I didn’t,” he added.

In 1999, Ribideau was drinking and driving and was involved in a head-on collision in Missouri. Of the three kids in the other car, one did not survive the accident.

Ribideau also paid a heavy price for the accident.

“I have five plates and 32 screws in my head,” he said. Ribideau said he was in a coma for nine days and doctors did not belive he would survive.

“I did survive … only to go to prison for 12 years,” he said. It was a Level 5 prison in Missouri, “a horrible, stressful place to spend a decade,” he added.

If you get an OWI and someone dies, “you will go to prison,” he stressed.

Ribideau said God healed his mind and his body.

“I got spared for a second chance,” he added.

Ribideau asked the students for some alternatives to drinking and driving. They came up with several: Have a designated driver. Stay home. Call a taxi. Call your parents or stay where you are and take the consequences of being grounded.

Texting and driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Statistics show that 46 percent of teens text and drive, Ribideau said. In fact, texting and driving makes an accident 23 times more likely, he added.

“You guys don’t have to follow the norm,” Ribideau said. He had the students say back to him, “I don’t have to be a statistic.”

“You guys can make a decision not to be a statistic,” Ribideau said.

Ribideau also asked students for options other than texting and driving. The students came up with these answers: Don’t text. Answer when you get home. Turn your phone off or put it on silent mode, and screen texts.

Ribideau advised students to set up an accountability system with their friends to help them not make bad decisions.

1
Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • New boilers cost district $380,000 The summer boiler replacement projects will be getting underway after the Centerville School Board approved a $380,801 bid from Capital City Boiler and Machine Works out of Des Moines during their April 14 meeting. Six bids were received and the boar

    April 18, 2014

  • Troy Rider.jpg Judge grants motion on witness comments

    Judge John Lloyd has granted a motion, filed by Troy Neil Rider's defense, to limit extrajudicial comment by witnesses regarding the sexual abuse case against Rider. 

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DOT photo Public learns latest about Northwest Bypass at DOT meeting

    OSKALOOSA -- Many area residents learned the latest about the U.S. 63 Northwest Bypass of Oskaloosa at a public information meeting held Wednesday evening at Oskaloosa Middle School. The two-hour meeting featured tables with maps of the three propose

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • raceway concept drawing.jpg Raceway Rebate passes the House

    Rep. Greg Heartsill reports that the bill to provide up to $2 million in sales tax rebates to the Knoxville Raceway has passed out of the Iowa House of Representatives, 78-15. 

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National