Teens confront tough traffic safety issues at conference organized by Circuit Court of Cook County

Released On 09/30/2004

More than 250 south suburban high school students gathered at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights for a multi-faceted presentation on the tragic consequences they could face as a result of aggressive driving habits or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The presentation was sponsored by the Circuit Court of Cook County, the South Suburban Bar Association, and Prairie State College.

"Because most teens believe that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them, our goal is to engage their minds in such a way, not to frighten them, but to show them that these are normal safety concerns, these are easy precautions that everyone, young and old, should be aware of," said Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.

Developed by the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Traffic Safety Initiative Program, Teen Traffic Safety Conference for the Sixth Municipal District was held Wednesday, September 29, 2004, and attracted juniors and seniors from 13 area high schools.

During a Victim Impact Panel sponsored by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists,students heard dramatic first hand testimony about the lifelong impact of drunk driving crashes from surviving victims and persons who lost loved ones, as well as a DUI defendant who caused a crash.

The panel was followed by an interactive workshop, Licensed for Life, where students took a field sobriety test while wearing special "fatal vision" goggles that simulate driving under the influence.

Conference activities concluded with a performance by the teen performing arts troupe, MWAH! which stands for Messages Which Are Hopeful. The troupe explores the serious issues facing teens using an energetic combination of song, dance, comedy and mime to depict real life experiences.

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans praised Sixth Municipal District Presiding Judge Ronald C. Riley and Judge Thomas Panichi, who chairs the Sixth’s District’s Traffic Safety Initiative Program and also moderates the conference, for their dedication to improving traffic safety in the south suburbs.

The following high schools participated in the conference: Bloom High School, Bloom Trail High School, Braun Educational Center, Bremen High School, Crete Monee High School, Eisenhower High School, Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Marian Catholic High School, Oak Forest High School, Carl Sandburg High School, Stagg High School, Tinley Park High School and Thorton High School.




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