Operation Drive Smart School Visit








On Thursday, April 14, 2011 the Duluth Police Department’s C.O.P.S. Division hosted an “Operation Drive Smart” expo for the students at Heard County High School. The “Operation Drive Smart” expo consisted of various stations where students were taught the importance of safe driving. The various stations included Duluth Police Department’s “Seatbelt Rollover Simulator” and “DUI Golf Cart”, Franklin Police Department, Heard County Sheriff’s Department, Heard County Fire/EMS, Trooper Black with the Georgia State Patrol’s Safety Education Unit, Georgia Motor Trucking Association and Emory Flight/Rescue Air. The students were allowed to visit each station where various topics were discussed, including; DUI laws, speeding and super speeder law, seatbelt law, move over law, cell phone/texting law and Joshua’s law. The students were allowed to ask questions and were provided with various copies of these laws.           

Sergeant Steve Daniels, Officer Bobby Johnson and Officer Matt Baker of Duluth Police Department set up a cone course and allowed students to drive a golf cart through the course, while wearing goggles designed to affect their ability to see clearly. These special goggles are simulations of the perceptions of what a person under the influence of alcohol would feel and see by affecting a person's hand/eye coordination. These officers also demonstrated by throwing a ball to students who were wearing the goggles to show how alcohol affects their senses. In addition to this demonstration a rollover simulator was also on display. This is a model of a vehicle which seats two “dummies” inside the cab of a vehicle which is built on a frame and is made to simulate an actual vehicle rollover. The officer first demonstrates the rollover with the two “dummies” strapped into the seats with seatbelts properly in use.  The seatbelt is then removed from the “dummies” and once the vehicle is set in motion, the “dummies” are eventually ejected from the vehicle.

“The students were very interested and interactive with each display. Sergeant Daniels bragged on the mannerisms and how well behaved the students were. I am so very proud of our students and how attentive they were during the presentations. I hope that we made an impression on our teens and they learned just how dangerous driving can be if distracted,” stated Franklin Police Chief Kevin Hannah

“By holding this event, I am hopeful that we can educate our children on the importance of safe driving. It is important that young drivers are aware of how quick and easy it is to have an accident. They also need to know that no matter how safe of a driver they are that they also need to be aware of other drives on the roadway. The expo was a fun and interactive way of providing this information to our teens,” stated Heard County Sheriff Ross Henry.

“We would like to thank Sergeant Daniels and the Duluth Police Department along with the staff of Heard County High School for coordinating this event. We also want to thank all the participants involved for taking time to educate our students. We hope to make this an annual event and are already in the planning process for an event to be held in 2012,” added Sheriff Henry and Chief Hannah.