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Jamestown High School students learn truck traffic safety

A demonstration sponsored by Mayer Truck Line showed student drivers at JHS the blind spots around a truck where the truck driver can not see other vehicles.

truck lesson at JHS
Students gather around a truck in the Jamestown High School parking lot Friday. Cars were parked in the areas the truck driver can not see them in his mirrors. Some optional mirrors Mayer Truck Lines adds to its trucks were covered for the demonstration. Keith Norman / The Sun

Drivers education students at Jamestown High School got to learn firsthand what drivers of big trucks can and can't see while traveling down the road Friday courtesy of Mayer Truck Line.

The company brought a tractor-trailer rig to the high school parking lot and then placed cars in spots the driver can't see while driving.

"Basically, we want to teach truck safety," said Zeta Mayer, vice president of the truck line.

Mari Obenchain, another Mayer Truck Line employee, said the goal was to show young drivers the blind spots for the driver around the truck.

"Those are the 'no zone' areas around the truck," Obenchain said. "They have them on all four sides of the truck."

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The drivers education class, open to all high school-age students, was divided into groups and brought to the parking lot. Each student got a chance to occupy the driver's seat of the big rig and see for himself or herself what the driver can and can't see.

Mia Grenz, a senior at Jamestown High School next fall, said the seat in the truck was comfortable but understood seeing the cars around the truck was difficult.

"I couldn't see that car (on the passenger side of the truck) at all," she said. "I had to move my head around a lot to see some of the others. I will be more careful when driving around trucks."

Carly Sumrall, a sophomore at Jamestown High School, said the experience didn't inspire her to become a truck driver.

"It was a good demonstration of what the driver sees," she said.

John Sova, an officer with the North Dakota Highway Patrol and one of the instructors for the exercise, said it was a good learning experience for the students.

"It is an opportunity that most people never experience," he said. "The whole idea is to be aware of the blind spots and not hangout in those areas when driving around a truck."

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truck lesson
Mia Grenz, a senior this fall at Jamestown High School, sits in the driver's seat of a Mayer Truck Line big rig and examines what a truck driver can see in surrounding traffic. Keith Norman / The Sun

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