A Bakersfield program called “Life Interrupted Mobile Exhibit” won the Program of the Year award from The California Crime Prevention Officer’s Association this past week. The program is aimed at showing children the dangers of drinking and driving. The presentation consists of a DUI crash trailer exhibit which shows an actual car that was involved in a DUI accident and a video that tries to relay the emotions behind a DUI crash. The Life Interrupted program is taken to junior high and high schools in Bakersfield to lower the high rate of DUI fatalities. Since the programs start in 2002 to 2007, teenage fatalities went from 12 in 2002 to 1 in 2007.
Programs like this are a great way to teach kids the dangers of drinking and driving. Lecturing students is one thing, but actually showing them a car that was involved in a drunk driving accident and showing a video on the family’s reaction and the emotional toll it takes on them, is something else. Once students feel the pain of the families and see the damage, they will definitely think twice before drinking and driving. I think the next step that this program should take is to take the exhibit to college campuses. In college, the students are actually old enough to drink and the program may be even more effective at that point. Nevertheless, the program is a great way to deter driving under the influence and reduce DUI fatalities.