4th Annual Safe Driving Expo
PHS students introduce new Sheriff's program and announce plans for 4th Annual Safe Driving Expo
Posted on 03/15/2013
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Photo: Deputy Jimmy Allred of the Floyd County Sheriff's Office and Hope Boyd, a junior at Pepperell High School, demonstrate the new SIDE program golf cart.

There have been many benefits to the community from the "Just Drive" Safe Driving Expo sponsored by the Pepperell High School group called Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). Now, the event has spawned a new program by the Floyd County Sheriff's office that will continue to impact teen driving decisions. The program introduced by Sheriff Tim Burkhalter is called the Sheriff’s Impaired Driving Experience program (SIDE). This program uses a hands-on approach to educate teen drivers about the perils of drinking and driving and distractions while driving. In the program, students will drive a golf cart while wearing simulation goggles that will give the teen the effects of having a blood-alcohol level of three times the legal limit. The student will be asked to drive a closed course to test their judgment, ability, reflexes, and instinct. The goggles called "Fatal Vision" are worn to simulate the effects of alcohol on eyesight and perception.  

Pepperell High SADD members joined the Sheriff's office to unveil the new cart purchased through donations to the community and announce plans for the PHS SADD club's 4th Annual Rome/Floyd County "Just Drive" Safe Driving Expo. The expo will be held on Saturday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Kmart parking lot on Hicks Drive. The event will feature two closed driving courses simulating drivers in distracted and impaired situations. On one course, the participant will drive a car furnished by Courtesy Ford while attempting to text.  The second course will feature the Sheriff's SIDE program with the new golf cart and "Fatal Vision" goggles. The expo will also have a simulated crash scene, a rollover simulator and a demonstration of the "Jaws of Life."  

The Sheriff’s office first used a borrowed golf cart with fatal vision goggles three years ago at the PHS SADD chapter's driving expo. The golf cart impaired driving experience has been a part of the expo each year.  The PHS SADD chapter and the Sheriff’s office seek to spread the word about the dangers of texting and distracted driving, as well as, dangers teens expose themselves and others to while driving impaired by drugs or alcohol. The idea has been expanded by the Sheriff’s office in the purchase the golf cart and goggles to make the experience available to school and community groups throughout the year.   

Amanda Corbin AllState Insurance and Pinecrest Golf Carts are community sponsors of the SIDE program. The SIDE Program is available for any high school, college, church or civic group interested in participating. To request the SIDE program for your school, college, church or group contact Deputy Jimmy Allred at the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office at (706) 291-4111 ext. 8830.

If you would like more information about the 4th Annual Rome/Floyd County "Just Drive" Safe Driving Expo, contact Alana Ellenburg at aellenburg@floydboe.net.