Almost 350 Bartow County employees this week will climb behind the wheel of county vehicles and try their hand at the Driver Safety Roadeo.
Aimed at promoting safety and awareness of employees’ driving skills, the county began the course in 2013, hosting it on a biennial basis.
“It helps us to see how they drive, and it helps them to see how we would expect things, which is right,” Safety Coordinator Diane Geisen said. “It gives both the employee and their supervisors an awareness of areas that they may need to work on as far as keeping our vehicles and our employees safe.”
Each employee attempted the course in his or her respective county vehicle class.
“It’s configured for vehicles class A, B, C, so they come through in their respective class and they drive through the course, and they are scored accordingly,” Geisen said.
The 10 stations included the stop sign, serpentine, offset alley, railroad crossing, right turns, straight lines, diminishing alley, reverse, parallel parking and curb parking.
“Some find it difficult. Some think that it’s measured wrong because they can’t get through it. Some have appreciated it, I think, for what it is, like, ‘Wow! I never knew that,’ or ‘Boy, I sure thought I would do better on that section.’ Things you don’t think about on a daily basis,” Geisen said.
While the county doesn’t reap a documented financial benefit, Geisen said the training has its upsides.
“It doesn’t hurt, let’s put it that way. The reason I say that is because, when we did this in 2013, we were awarded a state award,” she said. “... So we don’t get any kind of discount by doing it, but it does reduce claims because it’s making them more aware so we would maybe not have more claims.”
Bartow County Fire Department Deputy Chief Dwayne Jamison said the safety roadeo also impacts the county’s ISO rating because it counts toward a firefighter’s driver training requirement.
The roadeo will finish up today at the joint fire training center on Paga Mine Road.