Letters to the Editor

Mock car crash at OHHS saves lives

Kudos to OHHS Students Against Destructive Decisions and the police, EMTs and firefighters who made the mock DUI crash happen at OHHS May 29.

On behalf of the Impaired Driving Impact Panel of Island County, I’d like to thank SADD for inviting IDIPIC to provide its annual pre-prom safety activity that day: “Choose To Be Buzz Free,” where many students challenged themselves with the Fatal Vision mock field sobriety tests prior to the “crash.”

I’d also like to thank Sgt. Jason Longoria and Trooper Jason Nichols of Washington State Patrol who provided additional mock FSTs in Parker Hall to dozens of students later in the day. The event was made possible this year thanks to these Partners in Prevention: North Whidbey Sportsmen’s Association, Oak Harbor Education Association, Oak Harbor Wal-Mart, Officer’s Spouses Club of Whidbey Island and State Farm.

During the event about 20 students chose to experience “Fatal Reflections,” a computerized crash scenario program that shows the physical, legal, financial and sometimes fatal consequences of driving under the influence. All received “Choices 4 Life” wristbands. That’s what it’s really all about: choices. Potentially life-saving ones.

Research shows alcohol kills more teens in America than all other drugs combined, and more teens die from automobile collisions than any other cause with about 40 percent alcohol/other drug-related. (Centers for Disease Control.)

Alcohol and driving are a toxic combination for any age driver. Slower reaction time, poor hazard perception, reduced inhibitions and inflated confidence result. Alcohol, even in small amounts, adversely affects driver performance. Factor in a youth’s driving inexperience, and its no wonder so many teen driver fatalities happen.

And if you’re a teen reading this who wants to make a positive influence in your community, IDIPIC has a Youth Liaison board position open starting July 1. Contact IDIPIC at 672-8219, or idipic@idipic.org for more info on how to help us strive for “safer roads, safer kids.”

Karen Lewis

IDIPIC board president

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