Troopers from Troop C speak to teen drivers and
demonstrate the critical need to wear seat belts.
Tampa, Florida – On February 18, 2009, Sgt. Steve Gaskins (Public Affairs Officer), Trooper Reggie Edwards, (Occupant Protection Specialist), and Trooper Benny Perez (Child Passenger Safety Technician) conducted a special traffic safety presentation for over 600 students at Alonso High School, Hillsborough County’s second largest high school. Hundreds of teen drivers listened to troopers while they told first-hand accounts with true consequences--crash victims who chose not to wear seat belts; those who made the decision to drink and drive, and others who crashed because they were driving while distracted, talking on the cell phone or texting.
To help instill the importance of seat belt use, troopers used special demonstration equipment designed for this purposed. In fact, the highlight of the event for most students was watching FHP’s popular Rollover Simulator in action. Students watched as the car rolled over and over, ejecting its occupants that rode without seat belts. They watched as their school’s driving instructor, Victor Bevis, rode the Seat Belt Convincer, repeatedly, to help show how wearing a seat belt could save their life. Troopers use such specialized equipment to better show young people what happens in a simulated crash because it is true that “actions speak louder than words.”
The use of special safety education equipment to support safety talks that share true traffic stories and the incorporation of videos, such as FHP’s Distracted Driving production, and our new teen web site www.takethewheel.net really help our agency spread the word to teens about the importance of safe driving practices. Hopefully, as a result of our agency’s efforts, the future will see safer young drivers at Alonso High School and all other high schools across Florida.