Waterford Township — Adults and children on Saturday turned out for an expo hosted by Michigan’s secretary of state intended to increase driving safety and how to respond in emergency situations.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson hosted the event “SOSLive” in her hometown at Waterford Mott High School and expected hundreds to attend.
Children took part in games and demonstrations while teens and adults experienced a new fleet of driving simulators to practice traffic safety.
“We wanted something for families to enjoy while learning about safety and everything this great state has to offer,” Johnson said. “The driving simulators we have are very important. Reminding people to look twice, could save a life.”
Exhibitors like Ford Driving Skills had a full-body simulator suit to show what it’s like to be impaired with drugs or alcohol. Tim Brandel, 59, brought his son Jake, 16, who received his driver’s license on Tuesday and his father thought the expo was a great informative event for new drivers.
“That body suit was a trip, I saw double and couldn’t keep my balance,” Tim Brandel said. “Thankfully, this is a great event to warn young drivers and shows them what could happen if they have to walk the line.”
The event had multiple driving simulators including a mobile truck simulator, a refresher training course taught to semi truck drivers, and teaching people how to drive more safely around semis and a distracted driving simulator.
Other activities included a rock climbing wall, fake fishing for kids to learn how to cast lines, a mobile secretary of state unit and emergency training.
Volunteers from the Michigan Trauma Coalition gave lessons on CPR and how to identify and treat bullet wounds. Dwana Bass, a nurse from Henry Ford Hospital, gave information on “Stop the Bleed” training, a 40-minute session showing how to identify and stop life threatening bleeds. Residents could also sign up to be organ donors through the Gift of Life program.
Johnson said when she took office Michigan was one of the worst states committed to the registered organ donor lists.
“When I started, 27 percent of Michigan was committed to Gift of Life, now we are at 67 percent and have 3,300 people on the waiting list to receive a life-saving call,” Johnson said. “We increased our percentage by simply having our staff ask if people wanted to be donors.”
Waterford Township Clerk Sue Camilleri showcased new voting machines. The new technology is lightweight, takes photos of write-in ballots and gives the voter confirmation.
“The confirmation gives more comfort to voters and it also sends the results to the county after the polls have closed,” Camilleri said.
“The updated technology has a higher security. We don’t hook up to the internet. We hold our elections with integrity,” Johnson said.
George and Michelle Barid of Waterford Township, brought their two daughters Dana and Gillian to the event.
“It’s such a great event because it’s hands on. We’re not just reading or seeing a poster and there’s no one trying to sell us anything it’s all about safety,” said Michelle Barid.