The student voice of Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, Ohio

Arrive Alive demonstration

Did students understand the message?

May 12, 2017

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THINK. Office Paul Payne and other firemen and police officers alongside SHS student simulated a car crash.  After cutting doors off of cars and taking the “injured” students away in ambulances Officer Payne performed tests on R J Barnes, the student playing the drunk driver.  Officer Payne ended the demonstration, talking directly to the students and emphasizing how important it is for students to be safe and use their seat belts for their intended purpose- to save lives.

THINK. Office Paul Payne and other firemen and police officers alongside SHS student simulated a car crash. After cutting doors off of cars and taking the “injured” students away in ambulances Officer Payne performed tests on R J Barnes, the student playing the drunk driver. Officer Payne ended the demonstration, talking directly to the students and emphasizing how important it is for students to be safe and use their seat belts for their intended purpose- to save lives.

Sydney Evans

Sydney Evans

THINK. Office Paul Payne and other firemen and police officers alongside SHS student simulated a car crash. After cutting doors off of cars and taking the “injured” students away in ambulances Officer Payne performed tests on R J Barnes, the student playing the drunk driver. Officer Payne ended the demonstration, talking directly to the students and emphasizing how important it is for students to be safe and use their seat belts for their intended purpose- to save lives.

On May 12, 2017, Officer Paul Payne and many other law enforcement agents and firemen volunteered their time to put on a demonstration of a car crash. The demonstration occurred on the eve of Prom and was meant to be a way to disway students from drinking and or driving.

The demonstration was well put together starting from the beginning of the crash to the call to the police about the crash to the arrival of the police and eventually the arrest of the student, played by R J Barnes, who ran the red light and hit a second car.

Although the demonstration was put together extremely well and, although I can not speak for all students, I feel as though the message of the demonstration flew over many students heads.

For instance, while I was sitting outside in the chilly weather I heard many of the students complain about how long it took to get the injured out of the car. Yes. In the event of a crash it does take time.

It takes time to report a crash, it takes time to arrive at the scene of the crash, it takes time for firemen to arrive, it take time to cut off the doors so paramedics can help the injured, it takes time to get anyone injured in a crash to the hospital.

It takes time to save a life.

No matter how great our law enforcement or our firemen or our paramedics are, they are not magical. They are human and thus they cannot do everything instantaneously.

Our officers cannot save everyone and students- instead of complaining about how long the demonstration was or joking that based on how long it was that the people in the car would have been dead already- should have realized that in an accident time does not stop.

If you are injured, you have to wait to get help. According to Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) nearly 1.3 million people die every year from traffic accidents, and more than half of those people are between the age of 15 and 44.

SHS students and graduates have died from car crashes but that does not mean that anymore should die this year.

It is your choice to be safe while at Prom. It is your choice to not drink. It is your choice to not drive while drunk. When you drink and drive you are not only putting yourself or others in your car at risk, you are gambling with the lives of everyone on the road with you.

However, as I was sitting at the demonstration I heard a student behind me ask what the difference between drinking and driving and unsafe driving is.
Nothing.

There is no difference. If you are at Prom or After Prom and you feel that you are not prepared to drive, whether you are tired or whether you have been illegally drinking it is your decision to not drive, so make the right one.

If you are not capable of driving there are always other options. You can call your parents. You can Uber. You do not have to wager your life or the lives of others and you can chose to get home safely.

I implore everyone, be smart when you are at Prom. Be safe. Do not let one impaired decision be what defines your life.

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