ROVER Stresses Seat Belts

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Even though students at MCC's "College for Kids" are years away from driving, they learned the importance of wearing a seat belt from the Mississippi Department of Transportation's ROVER program.

"ROVER is short for rollover simulator. It's part of the Be Smart, Drive Smart Mississippi campaign. We go to schools all across the state and teach them the importance of wearing seat belts," said MDOT representative Christy Burke.

The ROVER program is designed to show children early on what can happen in the event of a vehicle rollover, especially if they aren't wearing their seat belts.

"Well it's good to catch them early. It's one of those lessons, a life lesson that they need to start learning early," Burke said. "Start buckling up, having their parents buckle up and that when they become drivers, they are responsible drivers and wear their seat belts."

The demonstration vehicle spins around and around and almost always has the same result: a passenger is ejected from the window.

"We spin it four or five times. We put the dummies in different poses," said Lisa Valadie. "The first one with the adult being unrestrained and the next one we have a child sitting in his lap, and we also show the importance of booster seats for children from the ages of four to eight."

The goal of the 'Be Smart, Drive Smart' Mississippi campaign and the ROVER Program is to have everyone in the state, buckling up.