EYE OF THE TIGER’S VIEW: E15M cut calls for more effective replacement




While Roseville High School’s decision to cancel the Every 15 Minutes program seems counterintuitive at first glance, the program’s effects waned in recent years – its dismissal presents an opportunity to introduce a more timely, impactful replacement.

A quick contradiction: the Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that today someone dies from drunk driving every 53 minutes, rather than the 15 from which the program gets its name.

In addition, the program’s repetitive nature lessened the potency of its message in recent years as students grew accustomed to the procedures.

A crashed car is set up near the same tree. Fake gravestones of lost seniors dot the lawn in senior square. Parents deliver eulogies in the Patti Baker Theater. While moving, these practices could shift the focus toward the emotions of losing a friend or relative, instead of drunk driving.

Assistant principal Matt Pipitone said that RHS administrators will look into alternatives, and lessons regarding impaired driving should not cease, but instead should take an updated approach to more current issues, such as texting and driving.

The outdated statistics from E15M stem from the ‘90s, so it is no surprise that the program fails to account for texting and driving – which causes 1,600,000 accidents per year, according to the National Safety Council.

The future program should include a greater focus on this form of impaired driving. Alternating programs each focusing on different components of unsafe driving would provide a wake-up-call that some students might need. It’s never too late nor too early to show that these tragedies happen, and that they can happen to anyone.

Alternative programs to E15M should go to great lengths to make sure a serious, important message is heard by everyone. RHS needs to find its target point and ensure that they understand the message.

Every student can take something away from a reminder of the dangers of distracted driving. Even if only one person learns something, these sort of programs are worth it. It is important that administration follows through with its plan to develop a substitute, and is unfortunate the Class of 2017 will be skipped in the transition.

Programs that show the realities of unsafe habits, especially with fellow students, apply to everyone. At some point, most students will be driving. These programs seek to remind students the consequences of reckless decisions and their effects on everyone.