Ga. Perimeter receives driving safety grant

COVINGTON -- Georgia Perimeter College Newton Campus has once again received a grant to raise awareness of how alcohol affects operation of motor vehicles.

The $7,500 grant was awarded to GPC's Newton Campus Public Safety Office by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The grant is federally funded for Young Adult Alcohol Awareness and Seat Belt Compliance education.

According to the GOHS website, the Georgia Young Adult Program promotes education and awareness to young adults about highway safety issues, including underage drinking, impaired driving, destructive decisions and other high-risk behaviors, in order to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities in young adult drivers.

Colleges participating in the program focus on alcohol education, alcohol abuse prevention, impaired driving, underage drinking, safety belts, speeding, risk reductions and other destructive decisions.

Lt. Andrew Moore said the Newton Campus Public Safety Office is the only law enforcement organization in the state to receive this educational grant to address motorist safety.

"Most grants are enforcement grants," said Moore, who heads up the GPC police department at the Newton Campus. "This is our second year to receive this grant."

Last year, GPC used the funds to purchase equipment to simulate the effects of alcohol, including fatal vision goggles and an Intoxiclock.

An Intoxiclock is a tool that demonstrates how a person's level of intoxication changes with increasing levels of alcohol consumption and the rate at which the body metabolizes alcohol given a person's weight, gender and drinking pattern.

Moore said the department will continue this year to distribute brochures and educational information to students about the dangers of drinking and driving and texting while driving, the importance of wearing seat belts, and laws regarding speeding, including the Super Speeder law that went into effect in 2010.

Moore said members of his staff, including two student assistants, will continue outreach efforts in the community, such as assisting local law enforcement agencies with road blocks.

"We also participated with Porterdale Elementary School's Red Ribbon Week," Moore said.

He said it was instructive for fifth-graders who attempted to catch a tennis ball while wearing the fatal vision goggles.

Moore said he has seen many fatal car wrecks in his more than 25 years in law enforcement.

"Since this is a grant for young adult alcohol awareness, I thought it would be a good idea to go into the schools to start educating them early," he said.