Sheldon, Iowa — Many Sheldon High School students had apprehensive, and even scared, looks on their faces when they drove into the high school parking lot Tuesday morning and saw an Iowa State Trooper approach their cars.
The Iowa State Patrol had a presence in the parking lot Tuesday morning as part of the “I Got Caught” campaign, which is a partnership between the Iowa State Patrol, Casey’s, and Triple-A Iowa to encourage teen drivers to use their seat belts. Those drivers who “get caught” wearing their belts are rewarded with a certificate for a free piece of Casey’s pizza, and a soda.
Iowa State Patrol Public Resource Officer, Trooper Vince Kurtz, says the students demeanors change rapidly once they find out why the troopers are contacting them.
Kurtz says that, so far, nine northwest Iowa schools have signed up to participate in the program.
Tuesday’s “I Got Caught” visit to Sheldon High School was the 6th that troopers have conducted in this area, and Kurtz says there are three more to go. He says he considers the campaign to be a success, based upon the awareness that it has raised in teen drivers, and the positive comments he’s received from school administrators.
By the way, Kurtz says that, during Tuesday’s visit to the Sheldon high school parking lot, troopers handed out about 75 certificates to teen drivers who were wearing their seat belts. He says that represents about 98% of the total number of students contacted during the visit.