Laurel Stiff held up each of the tools of her trade — invasive, lifesaving tubes, pins and needles — and repeated her mantra. The Baltimore Sun describes how the longtime trauma nurse drills the realities and consequences of fast, reckless driving into the heads of the 51 people staring in a courtroom.
In other parts of the program, a flight paramedic told grisly tales of mangled accident scenes. Victims and their families reminisced about their pain and grief on video or in person. A funeral home director added up the costs, emotional and financial, of burying loved ones.
They were preaching to a court-ordered crowd, one that has swelled in numbers over the past few months as judges in Howard District Court near Baltimore have begun to take advantage of a new alternative sentencing program in the county.
The brainchild of nurses at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, the PADDD program — Positive Alternatives to Dangerous and Destructive Decisions — has become a graphic choice for judges wrestling with how to get the message across to young people unaware of or unconcerned about the dangers of driving at excessive speeds.