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Circuit Court hosts annual traffic safety program for teens at Comiskey Park

Released On 05/06/2002

Chicago, IL (05-06-02) – More than 1,000 students from seventeen Chicago high schools will experience first hand the deadly effects of alcohol, speed, and poor judgment through the Circuit Court of Cook County's annual Smart Choices program to be held May 6 through May 10 , 2002, at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Smart Choices is part the Circuit Court of Cook County's traffic safety education campaign called Drive Wise…Stay Alive. "The goal of Smart Choices is to guide students through the early stages of their driving experience and impress on them in a positive way that they control their future through the choices they make now," said Judge Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court.

The court seeks to challenge students to think about safe driving practices by offering them highly interactive and thought provoking activities at the Smart Choices program. Activities include wearing fatal vision goggles which simulate the vision of a person who is drunk and experiencing the impact of a 5 to 7 mile-per-hour car crash on the Seatbelt Convincer. Students will also witness the result of a rollover crash with the Rollover Simulator at the Smart Choices Range according to Judge Patrick McGann, Chairperson of the Circuit Court of Cook County Community Safety Initiative.

"The range leaves a strong impression with students on potential consequences of unsafe driving," Judge McGann added.

The Smart Choices program will also feature a presentation called Yes, You Can! which is a motivational and educational program created by Lloyd Bachrach. Bachrach, physically challenged since birth, has never let anything keep him from achieving his dreams. Bachrach captivates his audience with gymnastics and volleyball demonstrations to illustrate his message that the only limitations we have are the limitations we place on ourselves.

Additionally, students will participate in a workshop called Truth & Consequences, an interactive play in which students assume the role of victim in a fictitious crash. To reinforce the seriousness of the situation, an emergency room doctor and EMS teams will explain in graphic detail the severity of each group of students' injuries and what if anything can be done to repair the damage.

Another workshop called Think First, addresses the issues of vulnerability and risk taking. Specialists will discuss how injuries occur, the physical results of the injury, as well as the importance of using a safety belt while driving. The reality of brain and spinal cord injuries will be reinforced when crash victims share how their own lives have been unalterably changed by the injuries they sustained in tragic crashes.

Smart Choices is a partnership in which the Circuit Court of Cook County seeks to promote traffic safety supported by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety; Chicago Police Department; Chicago Fire Department EMS teams, Chicago Public Schools; Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

Smart Choices was funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.print

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