The City of New Bern, Craven County Schools, and CarolinaEast Medical Center have partnered together in an important lesson for teen drivers – don’t drink and drive. The agencies have spent months planning a mock drunk driving crash that will occur at New Bern High School.
On Thursday, May 9th at 9:15am, emergency responders will be dispatched to the high school after a report of a vehicle crash. New Bern Police, New Bern Fire-Rescue and CarolinaEast EMS will arrive to find mangled vehicles in the roadway and crash victims who require immediate medical attention. Assessing the scene quickly, authorities will call for an East Care helicopter to land nearby to transport victims with life-threatening injuries. CarolinaEast emergency room staff will be put on standby awaiting the arrival of teen victims whose vital signs are deteriorating. New Bern High School students will be cast as actors for the mock scenario.
“Our school leaders, teachers, and most importantly our families recognize how important it is to keep our students safe,” said Dr. Meghan Doyle, Craven County Schools Superintendent. “During the important events that commemorate the key transitions in our young adults’ lives, it is critical that we do everything we can to help our students make informed and intelligent decisions to keep them safe. Sometimes telling students is not as effective as showing them. This exercise will not only help to inform our students and educate them on the significant dangers of distracted driving from alcohol, illegal substances, or even their electronic devices, it will serve as critical experience that will hopefully remain in their minds as they participate in prom, graduation, and other significant life events now and in the future. We thank the City of New Bern and our local law enforcement for enabling this experience and important learning for our students.”
Toussaint Summers, Jr., New Bern’s Chief of Police, says this is an important time of year to share a message of safety with students. “Prom season and the end of the school year are times of celebration. Classes are over and students get a break from assignments, schedules, and responsibilities. We want students to have fun with friends and family, but we want to remind them to celebrate responsibly and safely.”
Nationally, drunk driving is still the number one cause of death on our roadways. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s website, www.madd.org, about a quarter of car crashes with teens involve an underage drinking driver. The City of New Bern, Craven County Schools, and CarolinaEast Medical Center have pooled extensive resources to produce what is hoped to be a life-changing event for students. “You can tell them over and over and over again,” said Chief Summers. “What we’re trying to do is show them in an impactful way. We hope that this realistic scenario will teach them the dangers of impaired or distracted driving and how to make better decisions.”
Submitted by: Colleen Roberts, Public Information Officer, City of New Bern