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March 5, 2018

Vehicles Used in Public Education to Simulate Driving While Impaired -

Groups Donate Pedal Karts to Oswego County STOP-DWI

OSWEGO COUNTY - The Oswego Elks Lodge 271 and the County of Oswego Council on Alcohol and Addictions (COCOAA) recently donated pedal karts to help the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program in its public education efforts.

The pedal karts will be used to teach community residents about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. When used with special "Fatal Vision" impairment goggles, the pedal karts allow participants to experience simulated effects and consequences of impairment.

The goal of the Oswego Elks' Drug Awareness Program is to educate youth about the effects that drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can have on them and the consequences of the misuse of these products.

"The Elks recognize that our community, like many others around the country, is in a constant battle to combat drug abuse and protect our youth from the pressures of those who would selfishly encourage them to begin using drugs," said Carol Simpson, Drug Awareness Chair for the Oswego Elks Lodge. "We hope that this donation will assist our local STOP-DWI program in its efforts to provide our youth with drug awareness and prevention education."

COCOAA has a long-term relationship working with STOP-DWI in preventative education. In addition to their collaborative effort in programs such as Project U-Turn and Project Intervention, the two organizations have worked together to present "Responsible Server" training for local establishments. This training was also supported through grant funding from the Richard Shineman Foundation.

"The program is intended to help youths make educated decisions when it comes to real life situations," said Karyn Grow, Director of Prevention Services for COCOAA. "It's great to have different organizations helping other organizations in the community. It really brings us all together."

Oswego County STOP-DWI, Elks Lodge 271, and COCOAA are all members of the Oswego County Prevention Coalition. The coalition's goals are to establish and strengthen community collaboration in support of local efforts to prevent youth substance use. The coalition works to achieve its goals by increasing positive protective factors and decreasing risk factors as members address adolescent substance abuse in Oswego County.

STOP-DWI Coordinator Robert Lighthall expressed his appreciation of the donated pedal karts.

"Our mission is to develop and coordinate a comprehensive DWI counter-measure program to deter the incidence of drunk driving and the occurrence of alcohol-related traffic injuries and fatalities," Lighthall said. "This is a community effort and we appreciate the support of these organizations as we continue to educate our youth and the public of the consequences of alcohol and drug impairment."

For information about the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program, contact Lighthall at Robert.Lighthall@OswegoCounty.com or visit http://www.stopdwi.org/initiatives-Oswego.

Carol Simpson, Drug Awareness Program Chair, and Steve Gleason of COCOAA try out the new pedal karts that their groups donated to the Oswego County STOP-DWI Program. When used with special goggles, the karts give drivers the simulated effects of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Looking on are, from left, Ken Ellsworth, Exalted Ruler, Elks Oswego Lodge 271; Robert Lighthall, Oswego County STOP-DWI Coordinator; and Oswego Mayor William Barlow Jr.

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