FAQs
Q
 
Q
  1. What is the goal of the Traffic Safety Education tools?
  2. What is the history behind your programs?
  3. How are these programs funded?
  4. Who is the targeted audience for your programs?
  5. What types of safety education tools do you offer?
  6. Where can I find more information on scheduling?
  7. Are there are any costs associated with any of the Safety Education Tools?
  8. What are the credentials/qualifications of your Safety Team?
  9. What happens when inclement weather conflicts with the demonstration?
  10. Are there any other Safety Education activities you offer?
 
Q
  1. What is the Convincer?
  2. Are there restrictions on who can ride the Convincer?
  3. Is it dangerous to ride the Convincer?
  4. Do you need electricity for Convincer?
  5. Where can I find more information about Convincer?
 
Q
  1. What are the Fatal Vision® Goggles?
  2. Do you bring a golf cart to ride in with the Goggles?
  3. What are the BAC Levels of the Fatal Vision® Goggles?
  4. Are there any restrictions for the Fatal Vision® Goggles?
  5. Where can I find more information about Fatal Vision® Goggles?
Q
  1. What is Rover?
  2. Can we ride in the Rover?
  3. Do you need electricity?
  4. Are there any restrictions for Rover?
  5. Where can I find more information about Rover?
 
Q
  1. What is SIDNE?
  2. Is it dangerous to ride in SIDNE?
  3. Are there any restrictions for SIDNE?
  4. Where can I find more information about SIDNE?
 
Q
  1. What are the safety education videos you have?
  2. Are the videos scary or graphic?
  3. Where can I find more information about Traffic Safety Videos?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A
  1. Safe Routes to School is an international movement to enable and encourage children, including those with disabilities, to walk and bicycle from home to school; to make walking and biking to school safe and more appealing, and to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of projects that will improve safety and reduce traffic, fuel consumption, and air pollution in the vicinity of schools.
  2. The federal Safe Routes to School program was created by Section 1404 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which was signed into public law (P.L. 109-59) on August 10, 2005. A total of $612 million was allocated to the states for Safe Routes to School programs and projects for FY 2005-2009. Mississippi received roughly $6 million.
  3. Any project or program proposed for funding under the SRTS program must either 1) increase the safety of students walking and biking to school and/or 2) increase the number of students walking and biking to school. Safe Routes to School funds may be used on:
  4. State, local (city and county), and regional agencies may apply for Safe Routes to School funding for both infrastructure and non-infrastructure funds. Although schools and school districts are eligible to apply for infrastructure funds, we strongly encourage local public agencies to apply for these funds and to partner with schools/school districts and local law enforcement agencies to make the program a success.
    State, local (city and county), and regional agencies and nonprofit organizations (with 501(c)(3) status may apply for non-infrastructure funds.
  5. Funds are awarded through a competitive application process that has an established deadline. Check www.mdottrafficsafety.com for application deadlines. Guidelines and applications are made available when a funding cycle is open.
           There are two types of applications – comprehensive and non-infrastructure only.
           The Comprehensive Program is for those schools, school districts, municipalities, and other interested units of government interested in enabling and encouraging their children in grades K – 8 to walk and bicycle safely to school through a combination of critical elements that include infrastructure improvements and non-infrastructure programs and activities. These communities have completed or are in the process of completing a SRTS plan and are ready to begin implementing that plan.
           The Non-infrastructure Only Program is designed for statewide, regional, and local governments and non-profit organizations that wish to engage in non-infrastructure activities and programs that promote safe walking and bicycling to and from school. These activities may include bicycle and pedestrian safety programs, bicycle rodeos, participation in International Walk to School day and many others.
  6. No! This is a 100% federally-funded program. Communities may want to commit local funds or other public dollars, but this is not a requirement to participate. 
  7. No. Safe Routes to School is a kindergarten through eighth-grade program.
  8. There is no minimum or maximum amount of funds a community may request. MDOT does require communities applying for funds to prioritize infrastructure requests in the MDOT cannot fund the entire proposed project.
  9. MDOT developed a planning guide entitled, Steps to Creating a Safe Routes to School Program. This guide, based on the National Center for Safe Routes to School’s online guide (www.saferoutesinfo.org) provides the steps to developing a Safe Routes to School program in a community in a brief format. This guide is aligned with Mississippi’s SRTS Comprehensive Program guidelines and application. This guide is available at www.mdottrafficsafety.com or by calling the Safe Routes to School Coordinator at 601-359-1454.
  10. A successful Safe Routes to School program benefits children in several ways. When routes are safe, walking or biking to and from school is an easy way to get the regular physical activity children need for good health. Studies have shown that physically active kids have improved mood and concentration, a stronger self-image and more self-confidence. Physically active kids also have fewer chronic health problems and report lower levels of smoking and alcohol consumption.
           It’s also fun! Research shows that walking or bicycling is children’s preferred method of getting to school. There’s so much to see, smell, touch, think, and talk about. By walking with friends, children will build relationships and learn more about their neighborhood, their friends, and themselves.
           Safe Routes to School initiatives help the environment by decreasing traffic and reducing air pollution. Research has shown that 25% of morning traffic is private cars driving children to school. Fewer car trips also mean lower gasoline bills, a significant factor with today’s higher prices.
  11. Anyone with a passion for children's health and safety should be involved with a Safe Routes to School program. School teams can include city officials, school administrators, teachers, parents, students, law enforcement officers, school nurses, city engineers from the local public works department, school pupil transportation directors, trail and bike group representatives, city or county parks and recreation specialists, neighborhood association members....the possibilities are nearly endless. Experience has shown that the support of the school administration and city officials is critical.
  12. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It works like this: an adult or group of adults begin walking along a set route to school. As they walk, they make “bus stops” and “pick up” other children along the way. The Bike train works in a similar way. These safe alternatives to being driven to school provide physical activity for adults, too! 
  13. Walk to School Day – like Safe Routes to School – is a school-based initiative to encourage physical activity and walking to school. Walk to School Day in many communities has become the kick-off event for Safe Routes to School, and is usually held the first Wednesday in October. It is a way for parents, students, school personnel and other community members to directly experience the walk or bike to school as they walk and bike with students on the day of the event. It often generates wider teaching about the importance of physical activity, awareness of the fun of walking, biking, and early identification of safety concerns.
  14. Visit www.mdottrafficsafety.com website and look for Safe Routes to School under Programs, or contact the Safe Routes to School Coordinator at 601-359-1454.
A
  1. To achieve MDOT’s goal of reducing highway fatalities, several safety education tools have been developed to help increase knowledge and awareness of safe driving habits. Our safety representatives give hands-on and visual demonstrations of why seat belts, attention to the roadway, sober driving, and other good driving habits are so vital to personal safety when operating motor vehicles.
  2. In 2001 safety representative, Lisa Valadie, saw a rollover simulator being used in another state. It sparked an idea for her to bring that technology to Mississippi. Together with a non-profit organization, they purchased a rollover simulator and demonstrated it at events around our state.  In 2003, the non-profit organization went out of business and the simulator was purchased by MDOT.  Lisa Valadie came on board as a contract employee and together with MDOT safety programs coordinator, Christy Milbourne, continued to spread the word about occupant protection.  In 2005, the program was expanded to include the impaired driving simulator, SIDNE, and the Fatal Vision Goggles, and in 2007, the seatbelt Convincer was added to the program.  In 2008, we began showing motivational videos as well, giving our safety education tools a well-rounded visual impact on all facets of driver safety education.
  3. Our programs are geared toward the K-12th grade ages groups; however, we reach out to people of all ages by showing demonstrations at various safety events, church group functions, conferences and business events. The rollover simulator is fine for all ages above kindergarten, while the other tools are geared mostly toward people of driving age. For more specific information on age restrictions, please visit our pages for SIDNE, The Convincer, Fatal Vision Goggles, or our Safety Videos.
  4. These programs are funded through a federal grant as part of the “Be Smart Drive Smart Mississippi” campaign to help increase awareness and decrease the number of highway fatalities in Mississippi.
  5. We offer tools to increase seat belt awareness, Rover and the Convincer; we offer tools to educate about the dangers of impaired driving, SIDNE and the Fatal Vision Goggles; and we have videos that educate on a range of safe driving habits including PSA’s and a poignant videos entitled “Room to Live”.
  6. If you’d like to schedule our safety education tools for an event or school, please take a moment to read more information about each tool we have to offer.  You’ll find information about how to schedule an event, as well as requirements and restrictions for each tool. Rover, SIDNE, the Convincer, Fatal Vision Goggles, and Safety Videos.
  7. There is zero cost for our programs.  These programs are offered as a public service from the MS Department of Transportation to help educate the public and to help save lives.
  8. All of our safety representatives have extensive knowledge and/or training on the material we cover.  Our safety programs coordinator has been with MDOT for almost two decades and has been with the Be Smart Drive Smart Mississippi campaign since its inception at MDOT.  We also employ three part time employees, all of which are trained paramedics, fire fighters, and/or safety educators.  Our safety representatives are also certified child passenger safety technicians.
  9. Unfortunately, any outdoor demonstration must be canceled or rescheduled in the event of rain if there is no alternate indoor location.  Much of our equipment relies on electricity and cannot get wet.  Additionally, operation of the simulators becomes a safety hazard in wet conditions.
  10. Yes!  Our safety representatives are also available (as schedules allow) for speaking engagements, etc.  We are also hoping to continue to build on our safety program by adding additional videos and tools, so be sure to check back often to see what we have available.
A
  1. The Seatbelt Convincer illustrates the beneficial use of seatbelts even when involved in a low speed collision. The Convincer simulates a low impact crash and the benefit of seatbelts and airbags. The participant is restrained and sits in a carriage at the top of a slide. The slide is released, allowing gravity to pull the carriage forward, eventually reaching a speed of about 5 miles per hour before colliding with bumpers at the front of the system. The Convincer allows riders to experience the force generated in a low speed collision.
  2. Yes, there are age, weight, height, and health restrictions. Please visit our Convincer page for detailed information about who should and should not ride in the Convincer. There is also a consent form to be filled out by persons over 18, or filled out by a parent/guardian for persons under 18. You may download the consent form on our Convincer page.
  3. With any vehicle or simulator, there is always a chance for injury.  However, if participants heed the warnings and restrictions on the consent form and abide by all safety guidelines for riding the Convincer, the chance for any type of minor injury is very low.
  4. Yes, within 100 feet. A standard 110-outlet or generator is sufficient.
  5. Much more detailed information about the Convincer, as well as how to contact us and set up a demonstration can be found on our Convincer page.
A
  1. Fatal Vision® Goggles are training tools used to visually demonstrate various levels of impairment and the dangers of driving impaired.  The goggles distort vision and cause the wearer to behave similarly to one impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  2. No.  We are teaching that it is wrong to drive a vehicle while impaired, so we will not purposefully impair the rider and then put them behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  Instead, we have an impaired Driving Simulator, SIDNE , which demonstrates the effects of impaired driving.  The difference in our SIDNE simulator and the goggles/golf cart method is that our simulator is what is “impaired,” not the driver, and our safety representatives are able to remotely stop the simulator if the driver should be in danger of leaving the course or having any type of collision.  Also, our simulator demonstrates the effects of an impaired driver’s delayed reaction instead of just the visual impairment demonstrated through the Fatal Vision® Goggles.
  3. The Fatal Vision® Goggles range in BAC (blood alcohol content) level from less than .07 to more than .25 and come in regular vision and night vision.  This way we are able to demonstrate a various range of impairment levels and how those levels are different in daytime vs. nighttime.
  4. Yes.  The Goggles are intended for persons in 8th grade and above.  We must also have a guaranteed audience of at least 50 people.
  5. Much more information about the Goggles, as well as how to contact us and set up a demonstration, can be found on our Fatal Vision® Goggles page.
A
  1. Rover is a truck cab that spins on its own axis at about 35 MPH to simulate a rollover crash.  Cloth dummies are placed inside the simulator to illustrate the effects of the rollover crash on unrestrained occupants.
  2. No.  Rover is a watch-only simulator and is not built, nor intended, for use by human occupants.
  3. Yes, no further than 100 feet (or the simulator loses power and won’t operate.)  A standard 110 outlet or a generator capable of handling at least 16 amps is sufficient.
  4. Yes.  There are space, age, audience size, and logistics restrictions that can be found on our Rover page.
  5. Much more detailed information about Rover, as well as how to contact us to set up a demonstration, can be found on our Rover page.

 

         

    A
    1. SIDNE is a battery-powered go-cart that simulates the effects of impairment on driving skills.  The simulator operates in two modes, Normal and Impaired.  In Normal Mode, the simulator’s steering, braking, and acceleration respond appropriately.  In Impaired Mode, SIDNE reacts with delayed steering, braking, and acceleration, similar to how a driver would react if driving impaired.
    2. With any vehicle or simulator, there is always a chance for injury.  However, if participants heed the warnings and restrictions on the consent form and abide by all safety guidelines for riding in SIDNE, the chance for any type of minor injury is very low.
    3. Yes.  There age, space and audience size restrictions.  Please visit our SIDNE page for detailed information about these restrictions.  There is also a consent form to be filled out by persons over 18, or filled out by a parent/guardian for persons under 18.  You may download the consent form on our SIDNE page.
    4. Much more detailed information about SIDNE, as well as how to contact us to set up a demonstration, can be found on our SIDNE page.
    A
    1. Our safety education videos are various news reports, commercials, and PSA’s aimed at educating viewers on a range of safe driving habits.
    2. Our videos are intended for persons 13 and up.  Some videos contain images of reenacted crashes but none is considered to be excessively graphic or gory.  The list of videos we offer can be found on our Videos page.  If you are interested in learning more about a particular video, please use the contact us button on that page and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
    3. A list of the videos we offer, information about each video, as well as how to contact us to set up a showing of the video(s), can be found on our Videos page.