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FHP Assists with Seat Belt Safety Pilot

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Second graders are sworn-in as Junior Troopers.
The second graders are sworn-in as Junior Troopers.

In conjunction with the Florida Highway Patrol, Panther Run Elementary School started a safety project pilot for second graders called Seat Belt Awareness Week. The project, developed through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Bradley S. Feuer, Chief Surgeon, FHP Troop L members, and Panther Run Principal P.J. D’Aoust, teaches seat belt safety to second graders through a series of activities. The goal is to reach children early enough to help them develop a life-long habit of wearing seat belts. Since most second graders will soon be outgrowing their booster seats, it is important that they continue to buckle up properly in vehicles the rest of their lives.

Corporal Baker discusses seatbelt safety during the Rollover Simulator demonstration.
Corporal Baker discusses seatbelt safety
during the Rollover Simulator demonstration.

Each day of the Seat Belt Awareness Week pilot, the second graders participated in short, specific activities to help them learn about seat belt safety. At the end of the week, the students watched as Corporal Gary Baker put one of FHP’s Rollover Simulators into action. Students saw first-hand what happens to the dummies when they aren’t buckle up in a simulated rollover crash. Later, the students took the Seat Belt Oath, officially promising to buckle up. Finally, they were all sworn in as Junior Troopers. As part of the safety project, student data was assessed and activities measured using pre and post tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot. Dr. Feuer and Principal D’Aoust hope Seat Belt Awareness Week will become an annual activity and used in other schools.

A special thank you to Major Guzman, Corporal Gary Baker, and the many Auxiliary members who participated in the pilot, distributing fliers at parent-drop off and giving presentations. The project was an important safety initiative and a big hit with the kids.


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