Students drive safe with S.A.D.D.

Published 1:48 pm Monday, May 3, 2010

The Duluth, Ga., Police Department C.O.P.S. Division hosted an Operation Drive Smart Expo for the students of Bainbridge High School on Wednesday in the student parking lot.

The Expo consisted of stations that discussed the importance of safe teen driving. These stations provided hands-on learning experiences for students.

The Duluth Police Department’s Seatbelt Rollover Simulator was a station that demonstrated to students the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt. The simulator consisted of a life-sized doll sitting in a car without a seatbelt on and when the vehicle began to roll, the doll tossed wildly until finally being ejected from the vehicle.

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The station that seemed to have the most popularity among the students was the Golf Cart Distortion Goggles station.

With the assistance of an officer operating the accelerator and brakes, students wore distortion goggles that gave the impression of alcohol impairment. The task was to navigate, despite the distortion, through a cone course without hitting any cones. The purpose of this particular station shows true in real life scenarios—if the cones were people, those people would be dead.

If you drink and drive, people could lose their lives.

Although drunk driving awareness was the main focus of the Expo, the danger of driving under the influence was not the only information made available to students.

Another station covered facts about the blind spots of semi and tractor-trailer trucks.

An officer from the Duluth Police Department C.O.P.S Division provided statistics about driving fatalities. He told students, “Every year since 2003, 6,000 teenagers have lost their lives in traffic accidents. That’s 500 a month. Triple A Foundation did a study of accidents between cars and (semi) trucks and they found that within those accidents, 75 percent of the time, the fault was with the driver of the car. And of those accidents, 35 percent of them happened in the truck’s blind spot. And the sad reality is that young drivers like you are not taught about cars and trucks and how they can share the road.”

Blind spots are areas around the truck where the driver can’t see you or where the view is obscured. He continued to say, “Good rule of thumb—the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the blind spot.”

Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.) of Bainbridge High School assisted the officers in rotating the students to the different stations throughout the day.

The Duluth Police Department C.O.P.S Division wishes to warn teens of all the possible dangers of drunk or careless driving.

The Expo travels to different locations in our area in order to increase safe teen driving.

Don’t be a statistic.

Buckle up, and don’t drink and drive.