‘Roadeo’ a Kiwanis effort to help teens drive safely

For the second year, Kiwanis Club of Farragut is teaming up with Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security to help area teens learn how to be safe on the road.

The course, which is a charity service event, is slated to take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, in the parking lot of First Farragut United Methodist Church, 12733 Kingston Pike. Lunch is provided.

“They will learn driving maneuverability skills through a series of interactive learning stations at Kiwanis Teen Driving Roadeo,” said Floyd Ostrowski, Kiwanis event chairman. “It is focused on distracted driving.”

Participants will learn about the effects of driving while intoxicated and texting and driving.

“It is so much needed,” he added about the program. “We were looking for a signature program, and we are focused on children.

“A club in Columbus, Georgia, did this program. We brought it to Farragut.”

There is a $10 fee for the event, which includes hands-on driving challenges and simulators, free food and T-shirts, as well as first responder, Jaws of Life and air evacuation simulations. Registration is required.

Ostrowski said parents get back their $10 as a gift card when the teens attend.

“We’re doing this (event) as a service, not a fundraiser,” he said. “We just want to make sure (the teens) come the day of the event.”

Participating students also must have a driver’s license or permit and copy of insurance card.

“We do this once a year,” Ostrowski added. “Last year, we limited the attendance to 30 students. This year, we are limiting it to 75. “If it goes well this year, we will open it up (to more students),” Ostrowski said.

The program starts with a mock accident, with which Rural Metro will call in a helicopter, he said.

Then, students will pass through 10 hands-on, interactive learning stations, manned by law enforcement personnel, who will work with the teens and focus on different distractions.

At one station, for example, teens wear “drunk goggles,” which when they put them on, helps show them the effects of alcohol, he said.

Ostrowski said Matlock Tire Service also will have a representative on hand to teach youths how to change a tire, and they also will learn how to correct a skidding car and other driving techniques — plus the legal consequences of poor choices.

Parents can register their teens by e-mailing Ostrowski at floyd@ostrowski.com

Other event sponsors are Jacobs Insurance Associates, Rural Metro Fire Department, First Farragut UMC and Pilot Flying J.