It's refreshing to see young people racing and smiling to put their seat belts on. In one activity at the MDOT's Safety Fair at the Mississippi Trademart, kids compete to see who can buckle and unbuckle their seat belts the fastest. It's just one way MDOT is trying to reinforce safety.
There's also a bike rodeo and go-kart track, highlighting the importance of wearing a helmet.
And Rover, the rollover simulator, draws crowds. A dummy inside the cab of a truck spinning at 35 miles per hour falls out of the window in less than a minute.
"A lot of kids will laugh. We tell them if they're laughing, it means they're looking at it, but just to stop and think if someone got killed in a crash," says Lisa Valadie, MDOT Injury Prevention Coordinator. "Wear your seat belt, wear it correctly, shoulder belt across the chest, lap belt low across the hips."
Outside, Catherine Ashford's baby goddaughter is enjoying her seat high in the Jackson fire truck. "She liked it. I thought it was gonna scare her, it didn't," Ashford says.
The rescue vehicles are a hit. "I think (the kids liked) the fire engine in the parking lot, but they also loved the smoothies they made on the bike," says Mary Hendricks of Madison.
"We wanted to draw them out, let them come for free, but we want them to walk away with some information that will hopefully save their lives," says Christy Milbourne, MDOT Safety Programs Coordinator.
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