The Goshen Township Police Department has unveiled a new safety “rollover vehicle” simulator to encourage seat belt use.
The rollover vehicle, which simulates how someone can be injured or ejected in a car crash when they are not restrained by safety belts, was built and donated to the Goshen Police Department by Phoenix Industries owner and Goshen native Carl Nause.
“Officer James Taylor called me, told me about the idea,” he said. “I sketched it out and did it right here in the shop – we built it in two days. If it saves someone’s life or helps somebody, then it is paid for.”
The vehicle is a series of metal rods built in the shape of a car that fits a life-size dummy, Nause said. It sits on a spit, is mounted on a trailer, is portable, and spins to simulate a rollover crash.
"Rollover vehicles are particularly important because rollover crashes are happening more and more in the country," said Safe Communities Director Martha Enriquez. "This is because with more larger vehicles are on the roads, the center of gravity is up higher, so the tendency to flip during a crash is even higher than it was 10 years ago."
Enriquez said that the new rollover vehicle, which is available to all local schools and other police departments for only $25 (proceeds to benefit children's camps), is a great resource that the county now has to encourage seat belt use.
"It sends a clear message about seat belt safety," she said.
Officer Taylor, who approached Nause with the original idea for the vehicle's construction, said that it was built for educational purposes in order to save lives.
"The vehicle can simulate a front or rear impact, which makes up about 80 percent of all crashes" he said while unveiling the vehicle at Phoenix Industries Aug. 30. "It can show us what happens to an unrestrained body with a 2,000 lbs. of pressure from a 35 mph impact, which is often fatal."
Taylor said that the rollover vehicle is now available to schools and other police departments to educate people about the importance of wearing seat belts.
"The $25 fee will be used to fund local children's camps," he said. "That way, the kids whose lives we are trying to save will benefit most from it."
Anyone wishing to see a demonstration of the rollover vehicle or to rent it can call Officer Taylor at the Goshen Township Police Department or Martha Enriquez at Safe Communities, Inc.