Raleigh - The North Carolina State Fair offers more than just funnel cakes and a Ferris wheel. State transportation officials want fairgoers to go home with life-saving knowledge from Safety City, courtesy of the Governor's Highway Safety Program.
"Governor McCrory and the transportation department are committed to making North Carolina roads safer for everyone," N.C. Transportation Chief Deputy Secretary Walt Gray said. "I encourage everyone who attends the State Fair to visit Safety City and learn how we can work together to save lives."
Safety City is a highway safety "community" housed within the North Carolina State Fair that seeks to decrease roadway injuries and fatalities by educating attendees about highway safety issues. More than 100,000 people are anticipated to visit the attraction during the State Fair on Oct. 13-23.
Safety City complements Governor McCrory's recently-launched NC Vision Zero initiative. The immediate goal of NC Vision Zero is to cut roadway fatalities in half in the next 15 years, with a long term target of zero deaths on North Carolina roadways. This ambitious program brings together multiple agencies and stakeholders to engineer safer roads, educate road users and enforce traffic laws.
"Upon entering Safety City, attendees will receive a passport," said Mark Scaringelli, assistant director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Attendees will receive stamps in their passport by visiting interactive exhibits and hands-on demonstration areas. Those who complete their passport become eligible for prizes."
Each Safety City exhibit is designed to educate and engage visitors on a variety of safety topics. One of the top attractions is the Convincer, a crash simulator that demonstrates the importance of wearing a seat belt at all times. Other areas of Safety City address issues such as child passenger safety, teen driving, speeding, distracted driving and railroad safety.
Another popular attraction is the B.A.T. Mobile, which is a Breath Alcohol Testing unit equipped with a mobile lab and a magistrate's courtroom. B.A.T. mobile units are used at checkpoints throughout the state to identify and remove impaired drivers from roadways.
Safety City is staffed by representatives and volunteers from North Carolina government agencies, emergency responders, and state and local law enforcement. Other organizations featured in Safety City include Safe Kids NC, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Watch for Me NC, Be Rail Safe NC, Operation Lifesaver and VIP for a VIP.