Assembly Raises Awareness

Photo by Pam Hon

In an effort to educate students on the possible fatal repercussion of drunk driving, a Fatal Vision Goggles assembly was held October 25th  during students’ gym periods.

The assembly used Fatal Vision Goggles owned by the Hopatcong Police Department and golf carts owned by the state police to teach Hopatcong High School students the consequences of drinking and driving. The goggles, which cost about $1000 for a set, use special lens technology to simulate a feeling of impairment for the wearer, according to their website.

The assembly was organized by HHS director of guidance Gina Cinotti. It was held in honor of Red Ribbon Week, an annual event that raises awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

Some students, instead of wearing the goggles, text and drove the golf cart, which might be worse than driving drunk, according to some. HHS physical education teacher Chris Buglovsky believes that when you are drinking and driving, you are aware that you are disabled. When you are texting and driving, though, you have the feeling of being in control which sets up a disastrous situation. This is why students (when testing during the assembly) tended to drive straight when texting.

As students took turns driving the course, wearing the Fatal Visions Goggles, Hopatcong Police officers guided and reminded students of the dangers of driving intoxicated. Although the exercise proved “fun,” the underlying message was powerful.

 “Better sooner than later to learn,” said Buglovsky in response to why the assembly was held now rather than closer to prom.

 Sophomore Amber Mercado–onn a scale from 1-10 with one being the least in control and ten being totally in control–said she felt she was a “two.” Sophomore Alex Aumente said, “I could see a little [while wearing the goggles].” She felt that she was a “seven” on the scale from one to ten.

 Even though most students enjoyed the assembly and had fun while participating, those who helped out with it believed they will leave with the message that drinking or texting and driving don’t mix.

 Cinotti believed the assembly, as a whole, went well. She would like to be able to do it next year, but get some more golf carts for the students.

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