By Madeline Sky, Daybreak Meteorologist - bio | email
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Around 850 third graders were at Copeland Park on Wednesday for “Slide into Safety” day. The event featured different exhibits that focused on everyday safety, including a car roll-over convincer.
“The rollover convincer is basically just as it sounds,” said Marte Peterson, La Crosse County Patrol Sergeant. “It rolls over and it’s used to convince people to wear their seatbelts.”
The roll-over convincer has two dummies, one adult sized and one child sized. During the simulation, the car is rolled over with the occupants wearing seatbelts and not wearing seatbelts.
“Some of the kids, of course, thought it was funny when they see the dummy come out of the vehicle,” said Sergeant Peterson. “And we say that’s okay because they’re kids. But when we talked about the importance of if it was real life what could happen it’s more of a sobering type thing for the kids to realize that if that was them they could have been killed or seriously injured.”
“One of the kids asked me, ‘now that’s just pretend, right?’” said Kim Johnson, third grade Teacher at Kickapoo Area Schools. “And, it is. Because you don’t ever want to see anybody get hurt and when you see a human-like fall out of and you watch somebody get hurt it is alarming. It’s scary and it hits home I guess.”
Sergeant Peterson said adults, not children, are the biggest culprit of not buckling up. He said that parents that don’t buckle up could cause their children serious injury during a roll-over crash.
“Just because a kid is seat-belted in and didn’t get ejected from the vehicle they certainly could be injured or killed by the adult that’s rolling around inside not seat-belted in,” said Sergeant Peterson.
Sergeant Peterson asked kids to remind their parents to buckle up, even if it’s for a short trip, or they’re really busy. And Johnson thinks they’ll listen; a good sign that the Rollover Convincer is doing its job.
“At this time of the year when we’re anxious to get to summer and enjoy all these things that we’re learning about how to enjoy summer but be safe about it, I think it’s invaluable to equip our kids with that knowledge.”
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