Photo/Story Gallery 2008

Troopers Talk Safety at Karate School

Children at Alpha Upkudo karate school enjoyed an afternoon of rollover and DUI demonstrations thanks to the Florida Highway Patrol.HAVANA, Fla. – On Nov. 18, 2008, Florida Highway Patrol troopers talked safety at Alpha Upkudo, a karate school in Gadsden County, Fla., to encourage children to wear their seat belts every time, every ride.

Explaining the rollover simulaterTrooper Chuck Cook revved up one of FHP’s popular rollover simulators, stuffing dummies in the seats and strapping them in then spinning the car to show what happens in a rollover crash when you DO wear your seat belt. After a few spins, Cook stopped the rotating car, unbuckled all the seat belts and child seats and let the dummies fly. And fly they did – right out the windows. Some were trapped under the car while others went soaring through the air, landing in heaps on the pavement at the children’s feet. The children went wild, screaming at the carnage.

A student tries out the DUI simulation goggles.The students listened to the troopers explain the variety of tools they use for demonstrations.Next, Capt. Mike Burroughs spoke with the children about the dangers of alcohol and driving, especially riding in vehicles with drivers under the influence. He had their parents and instructors don DUI simulation goggles and asked them to catch a ball or walk a straight line. Many could not do the simple task.

Playing catch is not easy when you are wearing the DUI simulation goggles.Captain Burroughs explained to the crowd that vision, judgment and coordination are all affected when a motorist is under the influence of alcohol, so nobody has any business drinking and driving, and children should never ride with those who do.

The children were enthralled as Captain Burroughs started a game of role-playing where each child was a passenger in a mock crash scenario where some wore seat belts and some did not. The ones who did came out of the crash without a scratch. Those who did not wear seat belts weren’t so lucky. They were ejected from the car and ended up smashed on the roadway.

None of this was real, of course. But the children took it pretty seriously and got the point. Seat belts help prevent injuries and really do save lives!