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'Every 15 Minutes' program clocks in at Saugus High

Posted: February 17, 2010 12:19 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2010 12:21 p.m.
Officials from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station and students at Saugus High School will conduct the "Every 15 Minutes" traffic safety program at the school on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 18-19.

This emotionally charged program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the consequences associated with drinking alcohol, reckless driving and life choices.

The program will challenge students to think about personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions.

The main goal of this powerful, high impact and very emotional program is to educate all individuals regarding the severe dangers awaiting those who make these choices, particularly those related to reckless driving, speed contests, and drinking alcohol and driving.

Deputies will join forces with school officials and selected students to "drive" the message home. Several students will be taken from classes on Feb. 18, as if they had been "lost" in a tragic incident.

They will be joined by other student program participants at a driving under the influence (D.U.I.) simulated collision scene, which will be set up near the school for the junior and senior classes to view, depicting fatalities and serious injuries to several students.

During many of the programs, the Air-5 rescue helicopter, from the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's Aero Bureau, will be used to simulate an airlift of a critically injured student to a local hospital.

Several other "injured" students will be treated at the scene by the Los Angeles County Fire Department and taken to a local hospital.

The drunk driver will be arrested and taken to the Santa Clarita Superior Court where a simulated conviction for manslaughter will occur.

Following the school demonstration and court proceedings, the program participants will visit the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Grove at Central Park and the Eternal Valley Mortuary.

Officials from the city of Santa Clarita will speak to program participants at the Youth Grove.

The students involved in the two-day program will then visit a local hotel for dinner, where community members will hear from local familiy members who have experienced real-life drunk driving related tragedies, and counselors will speak about how it feels to lose a loved one in a drunk-driving-related incident.

The student participants will also draft a letter to be given to their parents that begins with this phrase: "Yesterday I was killed by a drunk driver and I never got to tell you...."

An assembly will be held at the school on Feb. 19 for the entire junior and senior class. Several guest speakers who had family members killed in crashes in the SCV in past years will convey their strong and emotional messages.

All involved hope to send a poignant reminder about the dangers associated with poor life choices.

All family and community members are encouraged to get involved and frequently talk to their youths about the topics.

For additional information, or to participate or contribute to the event, call Deputy David Shoemaker at (661) 799-5110.


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