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Two Holland ATA Road Team Captains Bring “Share the Road” Safety with Students

Two Holland professional drivers are Captains in the elite American Trucking Association (ATA) America's Road Team--Herschel Evans (Atlanta, GA) and Russ Simpson (Columbus, OH).

These drivers were selected by the ATA for their superior driving skills and remarkable safety records. ATA Road Team Captains travel the country meeting with law enforcement officials, community groups, schools and other organizations, sharing information about highway safety and the trucking industry.
In early March, Herschel and Russ visited Edgewood High School, Lakeland Community College and Mentor High School in Northeastern Ohio with “Interstate One.” Interstate One is a 53 ft. show trailer fully wrapped with an American flag-themed graphic. Inside, it features a mobile conference room with 7 screens, educational displays, a truck simulator and room for interactive displays. Road Team Captains drive Interstate One throughout the United States visiting state capitols, high schools, community events and more.

This time Interstate One and Herschel and Russ meet with community college students as well as junior and senior high students to show them what driving a truck is like, how to share the road with others, what the “No Zone” is around a truck where cars literally disappear from sight in a truck driver’s mirror, as well as other safety information.

“Doing these visits at schools really impacts me. I have kids close to graduating,” says Russ, a Columbus City Driver. “When we have ‘Share the Road’ events, kids get to climb in the cab and sit behind the wheel. You can literally see an awakening and understanding of what driving a big rig is about when they sit behind the wheel looking through the windshield. They experience the size and power of these rigs first hand. They are surprised to see how a truck driver really can’t see cars that travel in blind spots (the ‘No Zone’). My hope is that this learning experience will help keep teenagers and others safer on our roads and help save some lives.”

Herschel Evans (Atlanta, GA City Driver) says he gets satisfaction in knowing he might have nudged someone toward a career in transportation.

“You know you are connecting with a group of students when they start asking questions,” said Herschel. “When they ask about the most interesting places I have ever been or the strangest things I’ve ever delivered, I know they’re trying to get a look inside of what I do every day and understand our business.”

“We spoke to about 500 students this past week,” Herschel recalls. “That’s a lot of potential new members for our industry. We have a chance to spread our ‘Share the Road’ safety message, talk about the benefits of a driving career, and share some of the critical parts this industry plays in our day-to-day life and economy. We share the importance of the trucking industry, as well as the importance of safety on our highways and hope students think about truck drivers in a different way.”

Holland professional driver and ATA Road Team Captain Russ Simpson (Columbus, OH City Driver) shares, “I hope that after people meet us, they come away thinking that truck drivers are real safety professionals who take a lot of pride in doing a very important job.”

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