The Nebraska State Patrol wants more young drivers to wear a seatbelt and, in general, focus when they are behind the wheel.
Troopers are making a three month push to re-educate teens, thanks to a $20,350 grant from the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety.
One program uses a rollover simulator to show how effective a seatbelt is in a crash.
Trooper Charlie Cook, community services officer in Lincoln, says they also use the “seat belt convincer” to demonstrate a slow-speed collision.
“It’s an average of five miles per hour. That’s even slower than they might be going in the parking lot of their school,” Cook says. “So, if they’re going faster than that in the parking lot of their school and have a crash, it’s going to be worse than that seatbelt convincer shows them.”
All Troop area offices are offering the programs to schools, churches, and businesses through March.
A distracted driver simulator is another tool they use that shows the dangers of such things as texting while driving.
Cook says teens can experience the danger of not focusing on the road.
“They drive through this simulated driving program and different things will come,” he says. “That can be anything from vehicles pulling out in front of them, deer, animals, pedestrians – closest thing we can come to without actually going out on the road and throwing these distractions at them.”
A Nebraska Office of Highway Safety reports 67% of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes were not wearing their seatbelts.
Those interested in scheduling a safety presentation should contact their nearest Troop Area Office:
- Troop A-Omaha, (402) 331-3333, Trp. James Estwick
- Headquarters Troop-Lincoln, (402) 471-4545, Trp. Charlie Cook
- Troop B- Norfolk, (402) 370-3456, Trp. Gena Jones
- Troop C-Grand Island, (308) 385-6000, Lt. Jeromy McCoy
- Troop D- North Platte, (308) 535-8047, Lt. Kirk Hansel
- Troop E- Scottsbluff, (308) 632-1211, Capt. Mike Gaudreault