Hey kids, do you love gawking at gristly car crashes but hate all the debilitating injuries and tragic loss of life they so often entail? Do you enjoy those old Red Asphalt driver safety videos but wished they could be brought, Last Action Hero-style, into the real world? What about highly theatrical, over-the-top, live action role playing aimed at convincing teenagers to not be so damn stupid all the time, are those cool still?
If you like or dislike any of these things, or are just going to be driving in the Outer Sunset this Thursday or Friday, you might want to know about the innovative, new anti-drunk driving program SFPD is helping to put on at St. Ignatius College Prep called Every 15 Minutes. Every 15 Minutes is a program that takes over high schools around the country working to get students not to drive drunk, text while driving or, seriously now people, drunkenly send text messages while attempting to control two tons of metal going 60 miles per hour.
The program is based on the idea that experience is the best teacher. Since, in this case, one experience in a drunk driving accident is one experience too many, Every 15 Minutes goes to great lengths to recreate what it would be like for teens to actually die in an alcohol-related car accident without putting them in any physical danger.
Starting at 11am on March 24th, there will be a simulation of an extremely realistic crash at the intersection of 37th Ave. and Quintara Street (so if you see something happening there, don’t freak out) with uniformed police, fire and medical personnel working as if an actual crash had occurred. Students, in full costume, will play the parts of the accident victims as well as the drunk driver.
Inside the school, students will be pulled out of class every 15 minutes and become “living dead” DUI victims. They won’t be allowed to interact with teachers or other students for the rest of the day and their parents will receive mock “death certificates”. That evening, the “living dead” teens will go to an overnight retreat to “experience the separation from family and friends.” The following day, there will be a funeral service wherein the “dead” students will read letters they wrote to their parents the previous night that begins:
“Dear Mom and Dad, every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision, and today I died. I never had the chance to tell you…….”
While the whole affair seems morbid and more than a little creepy, anything that stops teens from drunk texting while driving is undoubtedly a good thing because, even if they escape the situation unscathed, they’ll probably regret even sending the intoxicated text message in the first place.