Driver safety to be tested at CHS fair

Heidi Flansberg and Alejandra Melgarejo will spend Saturday morning creating some obstacles.

The pair will be up at 6:30 putting out bales of hay for an obstacle course in the parking lot at Carson High School. Drivers of all ages can use the course to test their motor skills.

"They'll start off with a certain number of points," said Flansberg, explaining how the course will work. "We'll have friends standing there on the side waving, things being thrown into their path and other obstacles. Every time they look at their friends and wave, they'll lose a point."

The goal is to create an ultra-awareness about the danger of driver distractions not just for teens, but drivers of all ages.

The girls are the lead planners for the "Building Awareness, Taking Action" fair scheduled from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the school.

Drivers will be using golf carts, provided for the day by Eagle Valley Golf Course, instead of cars, but the obstacle course is just one of many ways the girls are working to increase driver awareness.

The fair will also feature a driving-under-the-influence simulator, which will be in one of the rooms at Carson High, and uses a whiteboard for the landscape and a steering wheel and other controls to simulate driving.

A vehicle demolished in an accident will be brought in for full effect of what can happen when drivers don't pay attention.

Flansberg and Melgarejo will turn 16 at the end of the school year. They see driver distractions as a huge problem, particularly for new drivers.

"Basically, what I'm most concerned about (as a new driver) is paying attention to what I'm doing driving-wise," said Melgarejo.

"I'm kind one of those people who, what do you call it, can be a little one-track minded. A little distraction can set me off. If I focus, I won't be that bad."

"I think the biggest problem is distractions: cell phones, friends, things that make it harder for people to pay attention when they're driving," said Flansberg.

While the fair's main focus is on driver awareness, its reach extends to other community issues, particularly methamphetamine. The sheriff's office and fire department will have booths. Students from the video production class, the Key Club and the student council are volunteering their time.

The fair is part of advanced video production's class "Project Ignition." Five students, including Tyler Bourns, Lydia Peri, Greg Saunders, Flansberg and Melgarejo are spending the year on the four-part project. This is the first of the four parts.

"I like doing things for others, I like the benefits from it that you get," said Melgarejo. "It's fun to do stuff like this."

If You Go

What: Building Awareness, Taking Action

community awareness fair

When: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.


Where: Carson High School, 1111 N.

Saliman Road

Information: Call 283-1652


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