July 24, 2021

Operation Drive Smart Expo visits Heard County High School

On Tuesday, April 10, 2012 the Duluth Police Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services Division hosted the Operation Drive Smart Expo for the students at Heard County High School.

The Franklin Police Department, Heard County Sheriff’s Department, Heard County Emergency Services and Georgia Motor Trucking Association participated in the event, providing information to students who possess a drivers license or will soon be getting their Instructional Permit.

Operation Drive Smart 2012

The Operation Drive Smart Expo consisted of various stations where students were not only spoken to about the importance of safe driving, but shown the consequences of not following very important laws regarding the operation of a motor vehicle.

These demonstrations were conducted utilizing Duluth Police Department’s rollover simulator, which showed students what can occur if a seatbelt is not being used when a rollover accident occurs.

Students were also allowed to drive a golf cart through a cone course while wearing goggles that are designed to illustrate the vision of a driver that is under the influence.

At these stations, student were also provided with information regarding a variety of topics, such as laws pertaining to driving under the influence, speeding, safety restraint usage, wireless communication limitations and the importance of being a responsible driver. The students were allowed to ask questions and be a part of the training experience.

This event was first brought to the Heard County High School in 2011 and the administrators were extremely impressed, requesting that it return again this year.

Sergeant Steve Daniels, Officer Bobby Johnson and Officer Matt Baker of the Duluth Police Department travel all over Georgia with the safety education program which is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

These law enforcement officers commented on the well behaved students and how much they enjoyed visiting the Heard County High School.

“By holding this event, I’m hopeful that we can educate our teenagers on the importance of safe driving. It is important that young drivers are aware of how quick and easy it is to have an accident. They also need to know that no matter how safe a driver they are, that they also need to be aware of other drivers on the roadway. The expo was a fun and interactive way of providing this information to the teens,” stated Sheriff Ross Henry.

“Throughout the day I had the opportunity to speak with many of the students, expressing to them how proud we are of them and their many accomplishments. As I visited the different stations, I observed the students interacting with the instructors and taking an interest in the material being provided. I hope that we made an impression on these teenagers and they learned just how dangerous driving can be if laws are not followed regarding the operation of a motor vehicle,” stated Chief Kevin Hannah.

“We would like to thank Sergeant Steve Daniels and the Duluth Police Department, along with the staff of Heard County High School for coordinating this event. We would also like to thank all the participants involved for taking time to educate our students. We are hoping that funding from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety will continue so that this program can be brought to our community each year,” added Sheriff Henry and Chief Hannah.

Sergeant Daniels stated that the funding for this program is currently in jeopardy but he hopes to find new funding from other areas. The cost is only about $2 per child that is educated. The program typically visits 15 schools each year. For more information on how you can help to keep this program in operation you may e-mail Sergeant Daniels at sdaniels@duluthpd.com.

To see more photos from this informative event visit www.facebook.com/heardcitizen.

Heard High Student Alexus Higgins attempts to drive while impaired by the "drunk goggles"


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