Every 15 Minutes Program Presented to Beckman High School
On March 19 and 20, 2013, the Irvine Police Department coordinated the “Every 15 Minutes” program for juniors and seniors at Beckman High School. Officers re-enacted a fatal DUI traffic collision the first day of the two-day program to give students an understanding of the real life dangers of driving impaired.
Twenty-four students and one teacher were selected from the school to be removed from class throughout the morning leading up to the collision. These students participated in the rest of the program and their absence left visual and emotional reminders for the rest of their classmates as well as their parents who received mock death notifications. Four additional students played the parts at the traffic collision of a drunk driver, a mildly injured passenger, a fatality and a critically injured patient who later passed away at the hospital where her parents were given a mock death notification by the doctors in the emergency room.
The twenty nine participants experienced the process by which a DUI offender is arrested, booked and tried in court. Adding to the reality, these students did not return home that night and did not contact any of their family or friends.
On the second day of the program, the students were reunited with their parents by Commander Mahoney at an assembly held at the school. Classmates and family members heard the participants’ accounts of their 2-day experience and received an emotional presentation from a woman who lost her mother and her mother’s fiancée in a DUI collision that occurred right in front of the Irvine school where she was a student.
This program was a cooperative effort with the Tustin Unified School District – Beckman High, the Orange County Fire Authority, Doctor’s Ambulance, Pacific View Mortuary, Hoag Hospital and several other community contributors. Funding was provided through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety and the California Highway Patrol. Irvine personnel coordinating the event were: Program Specialist Shiree Lind, public Safety Assistant Nikki Lovenduski and Area Traffic Officer Fanny Hom.