Citizen Police Academy – Week 10

Carol Stream CPA3

Last night’s class was on Traffic and DUI Enforcement. It was run once again by Officer Cluever, who should run every class. 🙂  He’s such a riot and has the best stories. He had us in stitches about some of the traffic calls he’s been on. Including one he calls his “Dukes of Hazard moment” when the Tahoe he was driving literally went airborne when he tried to drive someplace he shouldn’t have been, chasing a car.

We spent a bit of time talking about seat belts. I’m amazed that our police department writes over 600 seat belt tickets every year. I’m stunned that that many people don’t wear a belt! I don’t know one single person who doesn’t. We saw a terrible video of a cab driver from the POV of his internal camera. He fell asleep at the wheel then woke up right before he was about to hit someone. He panicked and over corrected. He slammed into something and then the car flipped and rolled down a ditch. He was not wearing his seat belt. His body was thrown from one end of the car to the other, his head finally smashing through the window, where he was decapitated. Another was a video reenactment of a real incident that happened. Four teenagers in a car. Three wearing seat belts and one not. They were hit head on. The boy in the back not wearing his belt was thrown all the way to the windshield then all the way back. He killed all three of his friends with his body. Broke their necks. So like I said, why would you NOT wear a seat belt??

We talked about red light cameras and their pros and cons. As someone who got dinged by one (but fought it and won) I’m not a fan. But I never thought about the fact that those cameras capture a LOT more than people turning right on red. We saw some videos of crazy traffic crashes captured on camera that really helped the police with their investigations.

The rest of the evening was spent on DUI Enforcement. We went through a lot of statistics. We talked about driving under the influence of alcohol and also narcotics and prescription drugs. It was explained how they scientifically came up with .08 being the legal limit.

Then came the fun part of the evening – driving the golf cart through an obstacle course while wearing the drunk goggles. 🙂

We got to drive though it one time without the goggles and then had to put them on. We were told to drive as fast as we could. So of course all the guys in class thought they were Mario Andretti. They were hitting cones left and right, running them over and dragging them under the golf cart, they were hitting the median in the parking lot and smashing into the “School Zone” sign. Honestly, we were in hysterics. If someone <i>didn’t</i> hit a cone we were disappointed!

When it was finally my turn I navigated the course without the glasses like a pro. Didn’t hit anything. I owe it all to my go-kart driving skills. 😉  Then I put the glasses on.  Holy cow, there went the depth perception right out the window! I almost missed putting my hands on the steering wheel! LOL! Everything was completely distorted and blurry. I thought I was going to make it but BAM! Hit a cone and sent it flying. Sergeant Cooper sitting next to me said, “Ah, don’t worry about it. It was only a child in the school zone.” LOL! Oh and Officer Cluever was out there taking pictures of all of us driving, so I’ll see if I can get him to email me the one he took of me so I can share. 🙂

Overall it was a great evening. We learned some serious information and then got to act silly for awhile. We also thought that it would be a good idea for the police to take this obstacle course to the high schools as part of their Driver Education program. I think it would be a real eye opener for kids learning to drive.

It’s hard to believe but graduation is next week! These eleven weeks have just flown by. I know I’m going to miss going to class every Thursday, for sure.

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