‘Day of Silence’ at URI will speak volumes about dangers of impaired driving

KINGSTON, R.I. — February 26, 1999 — Some University of Rhode Island students won’t be talking. Friends won’t be having their normal conversations, nor will they be voicing their opinions in class. On Wednesday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., many students at the University of Rhode Island will participate in a “Day of Silence.” The program is sponsored by URI’s Substance Abuse Services as a way to encourage members of the University community to consider the consequences of impaired driving and rethink potentially harmful decisions. As part of the exercise, students will not be allowed to communicate with others in classes or around campus. Instead, they will hand out fliers explaining the event to those who try to communicate with them. The participants will serve as symbolic reminders of what life would be like if they were dead due to preventable traffic crashes. At 3 p.m., participants will gather on the Quadrangle for a brief program. Each day in the United States, 45 people are killed in automobile crashes because of impaired drivers, according to the federal government. This means two people die every hour. “With spring break approaching, Substance Abuse Services wants to remind students that a break from classes doesn’t mean a break from self-control and responsible behavior,” says Andrea Herrmann, graduate assistant and advisor for URI Substance Abuse Services.