CDOT Assists Every 15 Minutes Program

This past spring, the Buena Vista Police Department was asked by Buena Vista High School to assist in putting together the Every 15 Minutes drinking and driving education program.  During one of the planning meetings where his daughter was involved, Drew McFarland (TM-III at Poncha Springs for Alamosa Maintenance Section 7, Region 5) contacted one of the Buena Vista P.D. sergeants to ask if they could use CDOT assistance.

The Every 15 Minutes program is a teen and youth awareness campaign so-named because someone dies in an alcohol-related vehicle accident every 15 minutes on roadways across the U.S.

J.D. Tidwell, Chief of Police at Buena Vista, recently wrote, "Due to the size of an event like this, and our limited personnel, the assistance offered by Mr. McFarland proved to be invaluable, allowing us to free up personnel for other duties."  The CDOT employees helped with various duties at the mock accident scene.

McFarland was joined during the event by Tyler Carlson (TM-II, Patrol 27 at Poncha Springs) and two members of his patrol, TM-Is Steve Barnes and Corey Culp.  Chief Tidwell added, "I want to extend my deep gratitude to Mr. McFarland, Mr. Carlson, and their crew for their willingness to help and for their dedication, professionalism, and commitment."  He described all four CDOT employees as "Credits to the Colorado Department of Transportation as well as to the citizens of Chaffee County."

Typical of such programs, a video of the awareness training was made and has been posted online.  There are many such videos posted and the contrasts in approach and creativity are striking.  Chief Tidwell reports that positive comments have been received from all over the country and that what they hoped in making the video has occurred in reality.  "Many other schools and police agencies have commented that they will use the video from the Buena Vista Every 15 Minutes program to educate the youth in their own communities," he said.  Given the quality of many of the videos posted, those are high compliments.

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