The City of Summit Police Department is announcing the successful completion of its first simulated impaired and distracted driving awareness program, One Moment Three Decisions (OM3D) on Thursday, April 26 at Summit High School. The two-day simulation for juniors and seniors was coordinated with the Summit Board of Education to provide a realistic and emotionally-charged program focused on the chain of events following a decision to drive while impaired (drunk and/or under the influence of drugs) or distracted, and the consequences resulting from it.
“This program is an important next step by the Summit Police Department in our continuing education of students and the community about not using alcohol, drugs or engaging in distracted driving,” explains Chief Robert Weck. “Summit has not had a tragedy involving a student for as long as I can remember and I believe the reason is that students are listening to our message. We hope to implement OM3D every other year at Summit High School student to ensure that every student has access to it.”
Students witnessed a simulated car accident, emergency response from Police, Fire, First Aid Squad and an Atlantic Health helicopter airlift on the first day. The next morning during a funeral assembly, a video of the event was shown that included footage in the hospital emergency room, of police officers notifying parents of a deceased child, and of the arrest and conviction of the drunk driver. The tearful assembly also included statements from parents of the students involved in the simulated accidents and students reactions to the event. The keynote speaker, mother Ellen Lurig of Phillipsburg, NJ, shared her experience of losing her 16-year-old son Robert in a drunk driving accident.
Weck brought the program to Summit after learning about the program in 2012 and viewing the program in Madison in 2014 when his daughter, Kelly, participated in it.
“Sergeant Rick Proctor and I researched the program and realized the value of bringing this program to Summit,” Weck continues. “The program is so impactful and inspirational, and we want that for our students here. It builds on the DARE program that begins in fifth grade and comes full circle for them now as juniors and seniors.”
OM3D is a collaborative effort by the City of Summit Police Department, Shaping Summit Together and Summit High School Administration and Guidance Departments. Financial support was provided by the City of Summit and Shaping Summit Together. The assistance of Summit Fire Department, Summit First Aid Squad and Atlantic Health Systems made the event possible. Project managers Police Sergeant Rick Proctor and Student Assistance Counselor Amy Herber contributed tremendous effort to the organization of the successful event.
A video recording of OM3D can be accessed at http://cityofsummit.org/police beginning May 1.