Public Safety Director's Spotlight - 2015 National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Weekly newsletter offering timely safety tips as well as information about upcoming special events in St. Louis City

April 24, 2015 | 9 min reading time


2015 National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  A number of organizations including the U. S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), and the National Safety Council have launched campaigns this month to encourage drivers to keep their eyes on the road when operating a motor vehicle.  There is no safe way to use a cell phone and drive -- even with a hands-free device.  According to the NHTSA, 3,154 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2013.  No one should ever die from such a completely preventable cause.  Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far one of the most alarming distractions.  According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the length of an entire football field.  If you're texting, you're not driving.  I encourage you to pledge to drive cell free.    

Upcoming Events

April 24 – Teen Talent Competition, Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd., 8 p.m.

St. Louis Teen Talent Competition 2015 will culminate this Friday night at the Fabulous Fox Theatre when the winners are announced on stage.  Underwritten and produced by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, the competition showcases the many talented teens in our community. The students involved are competing for college scholarships, special awards, prizes and public appearance opportunities. To learn more about the event, visit thefoxpacf.orgweb site. Tickets are required and are available through Metro Tix and The Fox box office.


April 24 – Free Concert, Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club, 4245 N. Kingshighway, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Healthy Babies, Children and Families will present The Charles Glenn Group this Friday in concert at the Mathews-Dickey Boys' & Girls' Club.  In addition to the night of great music, attendees will also benefit from an informative health speaker as well as visit health booths set up by local partners.  The event will be fun for the whole family.  Questions?  Call (314) 679-5228.

April 24 & 25  – FORM 2015: Contemporary Design Show, The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee Street, 7 p.m.

One of the Midwest's biggest design events -- FORM 2015 -- will return to St. Louis this Friday and Saturday for the fourth year.  FORM 2015 will launch in The Luminary's new building, bringing together standout architects, furniture makers, and designers to an expansive event meant to spark conversations, further the creative community, and provide a forum for interaction between designers and buyers. For more information, visit the web site.


April 25 – Free Landlord Training, 4601 Pope Avenue, 10 a.m. to Noon

The North Newstead Association will be providing Free Landlord Training this Saturday.  The training event is free of charge, open to the public and will cover the topic of Equal Housing Opportunities/Fair Housing.  For more information about the Free Landlord Training Series, visit the web site or cal l (314) 385-4343.

April 25 – 2015 March for Babies, Langenberg Field in Forest Park, 9 a.m.

Get your friends, family and co-workers and join other St. Louisans for the 2015 St. Louis March For Babies to support the health of all babies.  The event will provide lots of child-friendly activities and family fun. Registration will begin at 8 Langenberg Field in beautiful Forest Park, and the walk will step off at 9 a.m. Go to the web site or call (314) 513-9962 for all the details.


April 25 – 5 Year Celebration, Our City Farm, 4539 Delmar Blvd., 2 to 5 p.m.

Our City Farm will be celebrating its Fifth Anniversary this Saturday by opening the farm and hydroponic greenhouse to tours.  Visitors will be able to meet the farmers, enjoy snacks, and there will be activities for children. The farm grows heirloom produce and raises heritage breed chickens on pasture. Go to the web site to learn more.


April 25 – Trivia Night, City Garden School, 1618 Tower Grove, 6 p.m.

Calling all trivia buffs!  Invest STL will be presenting a community themed Trivia Night this Saturday at City Garden School.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the trivia will begin at 7 p.m.  Bring your own snacks.  Cost is $120 for a table of 8 or $20 per person.  Grab a group of friends and test your knowledge of the St. Louis area. For tickets, visit or contact Kate at .

April 25 – Supply Drive to benefit Stray Rescue, Wood Realty parking lot, 6500 Chippewa, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wood Realty will be hosting a Supply Drive this Saturday for the benefit of Stray Rescue. Make a donation from Stray Rescue's Wish List and receive a raffle ticket for the chance to win prizes including gift certificates to Urban Chestnut, Pietro's Restaurant, Biggie's Restaurant & Bar, Pint Size Bakery, Vinnie's, Chris' Pancake & Dining and many more. Visit the website for information about the Wish List.


April 25 – Launch of Bike St. Louis Phase III, Cabanne Branch Library, 1106 Union, 10 a.m. to Noon

Celebrate the new and upgraded street routes for bicycles this Saturday at the Cabanne Branch of the St. Louis Public Library.  The celebration will feature free bike tune-ups from St. Louis BWorks and two free Trailnet-led bike rides (two miles and 20 miles) so attendees can explore and enjoy the new routes.  Remarks will take place at 10:30 a.m.and the rides will depart at 11 a.m. For maps and additional information about the event, visit thebikestlouis.orgweb site.

April 25 – Financial Empowerment and Job Fair, St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join the City of St. Louis Treasurer's Office, St. Louis Community College – Forest Park, The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, The United Way of Greater St. Louis, and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment at the Second Annual Financial Empowerment and Job Fair this Saturday.  Parents will have an opportunity to network with employers, establish checking and savings accounts, and even get one-on-one credit counseling while children can participate in the Kid$ Zone.

April 25 – 2015 St. Louis Kidney Walk, Saint Louis University, 3338 Olive Street, 8 a.m. to Noon

With the increase in diabetes and high blood pressure – two major kidney disease risk factors – kidney disease is on the rise.  The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is working to reach the one in three American adults at risk with important prevention messages before it's too late.  Everyone is invited to participate in the St. Louis Kidney Walk, where people will come together to take a step in the fight against kidney disease by walking one or two miles to raise awareness for the cause.  Registration will start at 8 a.m. with entertainment until the walk steps off at 10 a.m.  The event will include a kid's corner, games, a healthy living area, food, and more  .For more details, visit the website or call (314) 961-2828.

Now through April 25 – FIRST Robotics Championship, Edward Jones Dome, 701 Convention Plaza, times vary

The annual FIRST Robotics Championship pits teams against one another in a rock 'em sock 'em competition of homemade robots. Watch the best teams from all over the world compete for the top honors in design excellence, competitive play and sportsmanship.  The events are free and open to the public.  For all the details, visit the web site.

April 25 – Biking 4 Books Cycling Event, Patrick Henry Downtown Academy, 1220 N. 10th Street, 9 a.m.

The Third Annual Biking 4 Books Cycling Event will take place this Saturday at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy.  Registration will start at 9 a.m. and the ride will commence at 10 a.m.  Riders will have the choice of a 10-, 25- and 50-mile course.  To learn more, visit the web site.

April 25 -- South City Health Festival, in Fox Park, Shenandoah & Ohio, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Everyone is invited to come to Fox Park this Saturday for a free community health festival.  Attendees will be able to enjoy yoga classes, cooking demos and sampling, Zumba, youth Hip-Hop dance, face-painting and many other exciting family events.  Questions?  Email

April 25 – Earth Day Eve, Muny Grounds in Forest Park, 4 to 7 p.m.

Start the St. Louis Earth Day celebration early on Saturday afternoon with a fundraiser for the St. Louis Earth Day organization at Earth Day Eve.  This family-friendly event will be held on the Festival grounds on Theater Drive in the Earth Day Café.  Enjoy live music, food and more.  Tickets are available on the web site.

April 25 & 26 – Garry Kasparov vs. Nigel Short, Live at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, 4657 Maryland Avenue, 11 a.m.

This Saturday and Sunday former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and famed English Grandmaster Nigel Short will play a series of blitz and rapid games at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.  Kasparov is widely considered one of the greatest chess players of all-time. The match up will feature 10 total games spanning over two days of play.  The entire event will be broadcast live on, featuring live commentary and analysis from a world-renowned commentary team.  For additional information, follow the Chess Club on

April 26 – St. Louis Earth Day Festival, Muny Grounds in Forest Park, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 26th Annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival will take place this Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Muny grounds of Forest Park.  Visitors will be able to enjoy three stages of entertainment, "not your ordinary" festival food, and free yoga.  Learn about sustainable products and services offered by local businesses, meet area non-profits that share the mission of Earth Day, and take part in a variety of hands-on educational activities.  Visit for all the particulars.

April 26 – Recycling Extravaganza, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Have you started your spring cleaning and have some hard-to-recycle items to discard?Bring them to the Recycling Extravaganza this Sunday at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, in the parking lot off Oakland Avenue.  A full list of acceptable items, including everything from CFL light bulbs and bicycles to used shoes and small appliances is updated regularly online at so you may plan accordingly.  The event is part of the St. Louis Earth Day Festival for a fifth year, thanks to the sponsorship of Missouri American Water.

April 26 – History of Poetry in St. Louis, Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, 3 to 4 p.m.

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Poet Laureate of St. Louis, Michael Castro, will discuss the history of poetry in the region and share poetic works this Sunday at 3 p.m. in Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum. For more information about the free program, call (314) 746.4599 or visit the web site.

April 26 – Shake 38, Ritz Park, 3147 S. Grand Blvd., Noon to 2 p.m.

The Shakespeare Festival and South Grand Community Improvement District are partnering to perform a 50-minute version of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" in Ritz Park this Sunday as part of the annual Shake 38 event.  Need more information?  Visit the web site.

April 26 – Family Fun Day for Earth Day, Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, 2658 Delmar, 2 to 4 p.m.

Build your own terrarium in honor of Earth Day at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site's Family Fun Day for Earth Day celebration this Sunday.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will supply the container, soil, rocks and plants. You supply your green thumb! The event is free, but space is limited so register by calling (314) 340-5790.


April 28 – Twilight Tuesdays, Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Twilight Tuesdays Spring 2015 Concert Series schedule has been announced.  Mark your calendar to catch one of these fabulous free concerts on the History Museum's front lawn on Tuesday nights from April 28 through June 2. Pre-Concert activities will begin at 4:30 p.m. and in the event of a weather cancellation, these activities are rain or shine and will resume as normal each Tuesday.  For all the details, visit the web site.

Save the Date

April 30 – May 2 –Saint Louis Storytelling Festival, all over St. Louis, 9:30 a.m. 9:30 p.m.

April 30 – Dining Out For Life, participating restaurants and pubs all over St. Louis, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

May 1 & 2 – 20th Annual St. Louis Microfest Beer Festival, Forest Park, 6 p.m.

May 1 & 2 – Spring Rummage Sale, Lafayette Park United Methodist Church, 2300 Lafayette Avenue, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

May 2 – Cinco de Mayo Festival, Cherokee Street, Noon

May 2 – People's Joy Parade, Cherokee Street, 1 to 2 p.m.

May 2 – Nextdoor 10 Nearby Neighborhoods 2015 Spring Community Yard Sale, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

May 2 – Free Shred Day, American Eagle Credit Union, 6600 Chippewa Street, 9 a.m. to Noon

May 2 – Magic Chef Mansion House Tour, 3400 Russell, Noon to 4 p.m.

May 2 & 3 – Climb to the Top, Compton Hill Water Tower, Reservoir Park, S. Grand and Shaw Blvds., Noon to 4 p.m.

May 3 – 23rd Annual Delta Gamma Center Run For Sight, Union Station, 1820 Market Street, 9 a.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

See for yourself why St. Louis is such a great place to visit during the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission's annual Be A Tourist In Your Own Town event on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at BallparkVillage, 601 Clark Avenue in exciting Downtown St. Louis.  The region's most popular attractions will exhibit with free refreshments, music, prizes and fun for everyone.  Make plans now to stop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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