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Keeping You Safe On The Highway: MDOT Holds Safety Fair

JACKSON, Miss.–If you’ve never driven drunk, there’s a way you can actually find out what it’s like, without actually doing it. The Miss. Dept. of Transportation is holding its annual Safety Fair Saturday, 10 a.m., at the Miss. Trade Mart in Jackson.

The “fatal vision goggles” will be part of the fun, said Jason Scott, MDOT spokesperson.

“There are different levels of these goggles and they demonstrate impairment,” he said. “Different levels of alcohol use. They blur your vision. You have to walk a straight line, throw a football, try to catch a football with this blurred vision. I’ve actually done it before and it’s very difficult.”

Scott said they will be stressing all different kinds of highway safey, from big trucks to bicycles.

If you have never had your child’s car seat professionally installed, it might not be right and that could endanger your kids’ lives, said Scott. Mississippi Safe Kids will be at the fair to inspect and make sure it’s done right.

Even though Mississippi did not pass a texting and driving ban this year, you’re still on the hook to put down your cell phone. That’s another point that’ll be stressed, said Scott.

“In the 4.6 seconds it takes for the average person to respond to a text message, at 55 mph your car has traveled the length of a football field.”

April is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the campaign kicks off Friday. Mississippi does have careless and reckless driving tickets that the Highway Patrol can give you if they see that what you’re doing in the car is impairing your driving.

Here are other parts of the Safety Fair, from an MDOT news release:

DREAM Inc. will demonstrate seat belt safety with their “Rock the Belt” program, a quick-click challenge where students are paired in teams of four and race around a car then buckle up in all four positions. The team with the fastest time wins the challenge!  The Wal-Mart Committed to Safety Program will have a semi-truck on-site and will offer demonstrations regarding safety around “big trucks.”  Children will also have an opportunity to view a real ambulance and speak to emergency medical technicians from American Medical Response.

Mississippi Safe Routes to School (SRTS) and the Mississippi Department of Health will be demonstrating bicycle safety tips to kids at the bike rodeo, a fun event geared towards all avid bike riders. SRTS will also provide information on how your community can identify safe routes for children traveling to and from school and hand out certificates to all children who complete the bicycle safety course. Bicycle helmets will be provided, and each child will receive one free of charge, while supplies last. Also, all Bike Rodeo participants may enter the drawing to win one of the bikes being used in the rodeo!

Be sure to “like” MDOT on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MississippiDOT) so you don’t miss out on exciting Safety Fair-related news and information.

For more information on MDOT’s Safety Education Program, contact Christy Milbourne, safety programs director, at(601) 359-1454 or SurviveYourDrive@mdot.ms.gov.

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