Last week, Carbon High School students had the opportunity to participate in the yearly distracted driving course organized by the Southeast Utah Traffic Safety Coalition (SEUTSC).
The students were joined at the parking lot next to the football field by members of the Southeast Utah Health Department (SEUHD), Price City Police Department and Carbon County Sheriff’s Office. The goal for the course is demonstrate the dangers of driving distracted and just how quickly irresponsible actions can take a turn for the worst.
The obstacle course allowed the students to get behind the wheel of the golf cart either while being distracted by their phones or while wearing “drunk goggles,” which simulate the visual impairment of being under the influence of an alcoholic substance. The course was outlined with cones that represented pedestrians on the sidewalk. The students found out very quickly that the pedestrians turned into fatalities because of their distracted driving.
“Our goal is to demonstrate how deadly it is to text and drive, and also the horror of driving while impaired,” said coalition co-founder and SEUHD’s Promotion Specialist Kathy Donathan.
The coalition formed in 2016 after the SEUHD Promotion Director Debbie Marvidikis received a grant from the Together for Life Institute for Western Transportation, the center for health and safety culture.
“The institute seeks to improve rural traffic safety and reduce injuries and fatal car crashes in our community and six other rural communities in Utah,” stated Donathan.
Members of the coalition consist of Utah Highway Patrol, Carbon County Sheriff Office, Price, Helper and Wellington City Police Departments, county commissioners, mayors, employees of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), media representatives, employees of Banasky Insurance, members of Desert Thunder Raceway, Utah Highway Safety and Safe Kids members, teachers, parents and high school students.
The health department would like extend appreciation to Carbon High School for allowing the students to participate, Carbon Country Club for the use of the golf carts, the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Price City Police Department and UDOT for providing the cones. SEUHD would also like to express gratitude to Savage Trucking for providing lunch to over 200 students and teachers.
“Our coalition goal is to bring awareness to our students, to remind our community to buckle up always, to live another day,” said Donathan.
As a reminder, SEUHD asks the community to buckle up, drive save and arrive alive.