State patrol will use graphic video to get its message across

Associated Press

MANKATO, Minn. — The Minnesota State Patrol hopes a video featuring real photos from crash scenes, along with the personal stories of four teenagers, will help get the message out to young people about driving safely.

The 18-minute video is part of a presentation state troopers will make at schools throughout Minnesota. The presentation will include an introduction by a trooper, an overall lesson plan, handouts and questions from the audience.

The video, which includes quick flashes of bodies wrapped in metal or lying in the road, could be hard-hitting, said trooper Gabe Cornish of the district based in Mankato.

"These are real live images of young kids just like the kids here in Mankato," Cornish said. "We can talk until we are blue in the face, but this video shows the real life consequences of texting or drinking while driving."


The state patrol also plans to make presentations before professional clubs to get the message out to teens’ parents.

"We want our troopers to be involved," said Sgt. Jacalyn Sticha, spokeswoman for the Mankato district. "They will talk about themselves, about making healthy decisions and lay the foundation for the graphics."

Officials hope education might help reduce the number of teens killed in crashes each year. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, 170 teens were killed and 750 were seriously injured in crashes from 2005 through 2007 in Minnesota.

Gail Weinholzer, a spokeswoman for AAA Minnesota/Iowa, has seen the presentation and video and said she thinks it will be effective.

"There isn’t as much emphasis on teen driving as there should be," she said.

While some of the images in the video can be hard to watch, Weinholzer said using actual examples of Minnesota teens is more effective than other methods.

"The best way to communicate with teens is to have teens talk to each other," she said.

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