SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni is hoping an event designed to prevent underage drinking and impaired driving will attract parents and their teen-aged children.
Stop the Swerve: An event to prevent impaired driving, took center court at the Basketball Hall of Fame in the city of Springfield.
Hampden County students were able to learn about the dangers through simulations and PSA’s.
Jaydalee Serrano of Springfield said, “This one dumb mistake could cost you absolutely everything.”
Stop The Swerve is back after two years to help start a dialogue about safe driving versus impaired driving.
Hampden District attorney Anthony Gulluni invited high school students, parents, and teachers to learn and talk in an engaging and educational setting about a serious topic.
Hampden District Attorney Anthony D. Gulluni stated, “We want to make those first impressions right when they are learning how to drive before they get their licenses. Right when they get their licenses we want them to know good practices and how to be safe early on and build those practices in as they get older.”
Jaydalee added, “A lot of people think, it can’t happen to me. It won’t be me. But in fact anybody can get hurt from this.”
Teenagers will have the opportunity to participate in activities such as this to simulate impaired and distracted driving.
High school students were given the opportunity to create public service announcements and billboards for the event, highlighting the dangers of impaired driving. This, in time for prom and graduation season when some may decide to take the wheel.
Para’Dise Howard of Springfield told 22News, “I’m about to be in that situation where I’m going to be 18 and getting behind the wheel. So it’s good to be educated to know not too drive behind the wheel while you are impaired.”
The schools that participated in the contest were able to win prizes and put them towards improvement of
technology, and a good way to start a dialogue about a serious issue.
There were interactive active events including, driving simulators, wearing impairment goggles, and giveaways. There was also a raffle featuring Apple Store gift cards for all high school students attending the event.
A special presentation on the liabilities involved in hosting a teen party where alcohol is served was available for parents and guardians of teens.
Additionally, the winners of a student-created public service campaign on the risks of drunk or drugged driving was to be announced. Up to $20,000 in prizes will be awarded to improve technological equipment at the winner’s schools.
The grand prize winner of the Stop the Swerve Campaign Contest went to Springfield Central High School, taking home $10,000.