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Governor's Office of Highway Safety awards grant for safety prevention

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety awarded a $7,750 grant to the University of North Georgia for the 10th time as a participant in the Georgia Young Adult Program. The grant allows UNG to bring simulators to campus and demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving and drunken driving.

Every year, University of North Georgia (UNG) students can watch what happens to a person in a rollover car accident and experience the replicated effects of driving under the influence. Both events are possible through two simulations, said Meri-Leigh Smith, health educator at UNG.

"The rollover simulator is a car with dummies in it," Smith said of the annual fall semester demonstration. "Some dummies fall out of the car. Some are ejected. All of it reiterates the importance of wearing a safety belt."

In the spring semester, students use a different simulator to replicate driving a car after drinking alcohol. The demonstration cements the dangers of drunken driving, Smith said.

Both presentations along with other safety prevention measures are possible thanks to a Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) grant. UNG received the $7,750 grant for the 10th time as participants in the Georgia Young Adult Program of GOHS.

Based on a partnership between the state and colleges and universities, the GOHS Young Adult Program addresses young adult driver crashes, injuries and fatalities. The program proves to be successful by using peer education, providing educational speakers to schools, and encouraging schools to develop creative, innovative techniques to reduce young adult crashes, injuries and fatalities in their communities.

Smith said the next activity will be the DUI simulator from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 4 on the Hoag Student Center Patio on the Dahlonega Campus.

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