By Kim Walter
The eighth annual Community Safety Fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Jim Barnett Park in Winchester.
The event features more than 50 exhibitors and family friendly activities -- all free. Food and drinks will be provided, along with treats from Coldstone Creamery.
This year's main focus will be on distracted driving, according to Lisa Wells, Winchester Medical Center trauma program manager.
In keeping up with the new July 1 texting law, the medical center trauma department's new distracted driving simulator will be on site for community members to try out. The simulator features a variety of scenarios, including drunk driving and driving while texting.
A texting obstacle course will be offered, and the Winchester Police Department will make available several golf carts and drunk goggles for a drunk driving simulation.
Valley Health Rehab Services will offer CarFit assessments to make sure senior drivers "fit" their cars properly for safe driving. Advance appointments can be made, or people can register at the event.
The assessments will include a review of the 12 key areas of being "fit," such as adequate space from the steering wheel, proper seat belt use and properly adjusted head restraints.
Each checkup will take about 20 minutes, and it is not a driving test or mechanical inspection.
A pharmacist will have info on medications that impact driving, and Valley Health's Sleep Center will offer education on the importance of restorative sleep to safe driving.
"Distracted driving is an all-too-real issue these days," Wells said. "It's our responsibility to keep our community informed."
The Winchester Sheriff's Office is sponsoring a drug take-back for community members to bring expired medications for proper disposal. They will provide safety checks on car seats as well.
Children are encouraged to bring their bikes for a new "bike rodeo" event.
Wells said the Winchester Bike Police will take kids through a course to show them hand signals and basic awareness of traffic and stop signs. Free helmets will be given away.
Several raffles will take place. For instance, six bikes will be up for grabs.
The city's K-9 unit will also be involved in a demonstration, and parents have the opportunity to get their children fingerprinted for future reference.
Wells said she hopes the event is well attended, both by local parents and their kids. She said it's always good to familiarize youth with local law enforcement and emergency responders in case they even need help some day.
"We don't want our kids to be intimidated or scared if they have to go to the ER or need help from an officer," she said. "This is a great way to have some fun, but also learn more about ways to be safe right here in your community."
For more information on Saturday's event, visit valleyhealthlink.com/safetyfair or call 540-536-8613.
Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or firstname.lastname@example.org