BENNETT: E15M replacement still necessary




I have heard from numerous adults throughout my 15 long years on this planet that patience is a virtue. And perhaps that is true, but it is not common for the average student to easily partake in that pastime they call “waiting.” Such impatience leads me to cry out “why not now?” but when that doesn’t get an answer my immediate next response is “fine, then when?” to at least indulge myself to the certainty the event will take place.

While I’ve only lived those 15 long years, even I had heard of the emotional event by the name of Every 15 Minutes. However, as people from other schools, such as Woodcreek, filled social media with calls for the end of drunk driving after undergoing the demonstration and self-made videos portraying the perils of drunk driving, the buzz from Roseville High seniors stayed rather quiet.

Roseville stopped participating in Every 15 Minutes last year, when the school determined we needed a model to warn us of the dangers of drunk driving that was less repetitive and more realistic and accurate, as well as inclusive of modern threats such as texting while driving. And in truth it is hard to ignore the flaws present in our previous execution of the drunk driving demonstration.

And so we are asked to wait. In the last year, however, no new replacement has sprung into existence to continue striving to show the costs of driving drunk, leaving a class full of students without even a repetitive attempt at a warning. Now I have no choice but to return to that childish demand of “fine, then when?” because, while repetitive was bad, nonexistent surely is a long way off from good.

As someone who’s soon to have her hands on a permit, finally allowing her to move terrified through the streets on her first driving lesson, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of insistence that whatever threats to my safety and to that of those around me are minimized as much as possible. That includes drunk driving.

The basics of “don’t drive drunk” might seem self-explanatory and elementary – why is it necessary to tell someone who has survived 15 long years on this planet that something which impairs their thinking would send their driving ability out the door as well? And that with incoherent driving comes the possibility of physical injury to themselves and others. And property damage. And one plus one equals two, just for good measure. Really, that info seems simple enough to figure out.

However, the still obvious but less in-your-face details that don’t pop into one’s head the second they think about driving drunk, like the consequences of all of the above, might be nice reminders. Like maybe being charged with vehicular manslaughter, per say. Signing up for the possibility of not only crushing guilt but a massively detrimental effect on one’s future is a blow that cuts deep, perhaps enough to remind someone they should stay sober and unplugged while driving.

So, that replacement demonstration for Every 15 Minutes, whatever it may be, should not be left forgotten.

It’s only one year, one class of students leaving without any chance of being exposed to a productive means of reminding people of all they stand to lose with reckless driving habits. But one year is bad enough, so let’s not make it two. Or 15 long years on this planet. That would certainly not be ideal.