Charles House, far left, with the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office, and Bobby Qualls, far right, with the Sallisaw Police Department, taught 38 high school students about the dangers of texting while driving and drunk driving at Sallisaw High School on Thursday morning.
In 2014, the latest year for which data are available, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death among 13-to-19-year-old males and females in the United States, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Teenage crash victims account for 10 percent of all those killed in fatality vehicle crashes, the IIHS reports.
The Sallisaw Police and Sequoyah County Sheriff’s program is a joint effort to warn teens, through the schools’ driver education program, about the dangers of driving and texting and driving while drunk.
The program is being offered to about 60 Roland teens on Friday morning, said Sallisaw Police Chief Terry Franklin.
“We do this every year,” Franklin said. “The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will also help. They show the students what it’s like to get pulled over and have to do a field sobriety test.”
Franklin said the course uses Fatal Vision Impairment goggles, which simulate various levels of intoxication. With goggles in place, the students are asked to drive an obstacle course to demonstrate how impaired driving affects their driving abilities, balance and judgement.
This is about the fourth year for the program, Franklin said.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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