Why can’t you drive??

Picture by David Stewart Knox Middle School student Austin Edwards looks nervous as his classmate, Casey Stevens, prepares to drive.
Picture by David Stewart
Knox Middle School student Austin Edwards looks nervous as his classmate, Casey Stevens, prepares to drive.

By David Stewart

The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) van came to the Knox County Middle School as part of Operation UNITE. The program, created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides Federal funding and support to state and local law enforcements.

There are currently 28 HIDTAs, covering roughly 16 percent of all counties in the United States, or 60 percent of the U.S. population. Although there are 733 initiatives within HIDTA, today’s activities in the middle school gym centered around impaired operation of vehicles.

Students had fun (while strapped into electric go carts) as they attempted to navigate a coned off traffic course inside the gym. What the students did not know was the cart’s acceleration, braking, and steering were all being altered from a remote device.

Numerous cones and cardboard figures were “injured” during the initial runs. Later, the kids were notified as to why they were doing so poorly.  Impaired driving was to blame.