PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Circuit Court reminds high school students to drive safely

Released On 05/21/2001

Palos Heights, IL (May 21, 2001) - The Circuit Court of Cook County presented a DUI crash reenactment and assembly on May 15, 2001, to eight hundred students from Alan B. Shepard High School as part of the school's two week Prom Promise anti-alcohol and drug campaign designed to help juniors and seniors make good decisions when faced with the pressure to use alcohol or drugs.

"A young person dies in a traffic crash an average of once and hour," said Judge David Sterba, Chairman of the Fifth District Traffic Safety Initiative. "The month of May is now the second deadliest month for alcohol related fatalities. These two facts moved us to conduct this program which educates our young people on the consequences of driving under the influence during prom season and everyday," said Judge Sterba.

The pre-prom DUI crash reenactment allowed students to experience the potential consequences of driving under the influence by witnessing a crash reenactment displaying such consequences. The crash reenactment conducted on the football field included student participation and featured a victim being rescued from a mangled car by the Palos Heights Fire Department's jaws of life. A University of Chicago Medical Center Hospital helicopter airlifted victims from the scene. Senior students attended a program that featured a graphic and motivating presentation from Tony Bucki, an emergency room nurse, on the issue of making wise prom choices.

"A powerful way to reach out to young people about the dangers of drinking and driving is by letting them experience first hand the consequences of impaired driving," said Cook County Chief Judge Donald P. O'Connell.

"The judges of the Circuit Court of Cook County are committed to public education efforts to help drivers become aware of the consequences of unsafe driving," said Chief Judge O'Connell. "Through a partnership between the Cook County Circuit Court Fifth Municipal District, Alan B. Shepard High School, the Cook County Sheriff's Office, the Palos Heights Fire Protection District, the Palos Heights Fire Department, the Palos Community Hospital, the University of Chicago Medical Center and local businesses and citizens, the pre-prom presentation is just one example how we can work together to improve traffic safety and save lives," said Fifth Municipal District Presiding Judge Anthony S. Montelione.

The program was funded in part by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

 

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