Orange Co. Sheriffs Spread Word About the Need for Seatbelts

58p1.jpg

Communities / Sep. 7, 2017 9:06am EDT

By Mike Donoghue , Correspondent


Lt. David Eggum of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department talks about the importance of seatbelt safety during the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex. (Photo by Mike Donoghue) Lt. David Eggum of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department talks about the importance of seatbelt safety during the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex. (Photo by Mike Donoghue) Visitors attending the Champlain Valley Fair this year got an up-close car safety demonstration and talk from Lt. David Eggum of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. His topic was of the dangers of failing to use seatbelts.

The “Rollover Convincer” machine dramatically shows what can happen when unsecured people are tossed around when a vehicle flips, Eggum explained as people stopped to watch.

Lt. Eggum spent five days helping staff a popular fair booth operated by the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance, which works to reduce the number and severity of crashes and the associated injuries and deaths.

The Convincer—a rotating car without windows—is on a frame that allows it to spin or roll over as if it were in a crash. Fair-goers got to see what it is like for unbelted people to get tossed around and sometimes thrown into those that have secured themselves.

Lt. Eggum strapped in one test dummy in the back in a child seat, while a second is unbelted in back. In the front, the driver is belted in to represent the 83% of Vermonters who use seatbelts. The front passenger opts not to use a seatbelt.

He said an unsecured 40-pound child traveling in a car at 30 miles per hour creates 1,200 pounds of force when unrestrained. Even a water bottle or pocketbook can become a projectile, said Eggum, who also spends time in Orange County schools teaching driver safety.

The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance is a network of private and public organizations working together to collect, share and use data to develop highway safety strategies. The members integrate: road engineering and infrastructure, law enforcement and emergency medical services, and education and outreach.

Orange Co. Sheriff Bill Bohnyak is the treasurer for the safety alliance and the president of the Vermont State Sheriffs Assn., which owns the Rollover Convincer.

Return to top