Most people know what the “Convincer” is – a machine that simulates a crash so that riders can feel how safety belts work to keep them safely in their seat upon impact.
But the Convincer isn’t designed to accommodate small children. That’s why the Wisconsin Troopers’ Association and the Wisconsin State Patrol have designed a “Little Convincer” especially for kindergarteners. The machine shows 5 and 6 year-olds first-hand how a safety belt holds them in a seat.
As part of the Little Convincer program, offered to all of Wisconsin’s kindergartens free of charge, a State Patrol Trooper or Inspector brings the Little Convincer machine to the kindergarten for any or all of the children to ride.
The Trooper or Inspector also teaches children about the importance of not distracting the driver, as well as other proper behavior in the car, through an entertaining role-playing game. Each child who participates in the program automatically becomes a member of the Wisconsin State Patrol’s “Click Club” and receives a little convincer coloring book and button.
Trooper Jenny Austin demonstrates the
effectiveness of safety belts.
Children learn at a rapid rate… but they are also very strong-willed. Starting at about the age of 5, children begin to neglect wearing their safety belts, and the child safety belt usage numbers drop off significantly with the kindergarten age group.
The little convincer program teaches children that they are never too old to buckle up.
Trooper Jenny Austin explains the proper way to wear your safety belt.
For more than fifteen years Wisconsin State Patrol and Wisconsin Troopers’ Association has joined together in educating kindergarten children the importance of safety belt usage through the “Little Convincer Program”. Wisconsin State Patrol Troopers and Inspectors demonstrate the importance of wearing safety belts with the aid of the “Little Convincer” (chair mechanism designed to simulate falling forward during a crash with a safety belt harness holding the child securely in their seat).
The Little Convincer Program is offered to all of Wisconsin’s schools free of charge. The Wisconsin Troopers’ Association covers the cost of supplying handout materials that are utilized during the program.
In Wisconsin more than 60 percent of people killed in crashes were not wearing safety belts. During the same period enforcement of the Wisconsin’s seat belt law increased from the previous year. Enforcement of Wisconsin’s safety belt law is very important, however education plays a significant part in changing attitudes of all ages.
Members of the Wisconsin Troopers’ Association are pleased to provide WTA “Buckle Up” trooper teddy bears to children knowing the influence these youngsters will have on their parents while riding in vehicles. Studies have shown when an adult in a vehicle does not wear safety belts, usage among children drop to nearly 30 percent.
To bring the little convincer program to your area, contact the Wisconsin State Patrol District that includes your county. If you have any comments on this program, please contact your local State Patrol District or the Wisconsin Troopers’ Association, Inc., at 1-866-678-4335. We’d be delighted to hear from you!