INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- If it’s not a shared fear, it’s at least a shared concern. There’s nothing more frightening than driving in a central Indiana winter. Okay, almost nothing.
"Can I just say how intimidating it is to drive around with a state police sergeant? It's like training a rookie police officer, so I'm nervous in the passenger seat, " said Indiana State Police Sergeant John Perrine.
Sergeant Perrin is a public information officer with the Indiana State Police. He’s well known for his unique public service videos. More on that later, but Perrine recently took a drive on I-465 to talk about snow, ice and overconfidence.
"It's not like, hey, we're here in February, March, we get another snow and the crashes go down. We still have that high average whenever there's snow on the ground. I think people get overconfident. They get overconfident in their driving ability and they get overconfident in their car's technology,” said Perrine.
Winter weather would seem to give us all an excuse out on the road. But to a state trooper, that’s all it is, an excuse.
"We'll never put in a report that there was snow on the road. It's a factor, but the reason they crashed is their driving behavior. Going too fast is the number one cause of crashes in winter weather,” said Perrine.
Perrine knows something about sending a message regarding safety. His homemade video on the power of the turn signal became a viral sensation. His first of many. It taught him a lesson about social media.
"Spur of the moment, I expected to get a couple of hundred views and it hit a nerve with people. Not only do people want their turn signal used, but I think they liked the rawness of the video."
Since then, Perrine has made a series of viral videos with friend and fellow public information officer Mike Pruitt of the Wayne Township Fire Department. The messages are all familiar, but the way they are delivered is not.
"We don't want to give the same old boring messages you've heard for the last 25 years. We want to spice it up a little and get creative with that.”
Try as he might, Perrine’s message doesn’t always get across.
"Bob, the most common thing I hear when I pull somebody over, the first thing out of their mouth is, 'I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention.' They don't say, 'I was on my phone.' I"ll say, 'Did you know you were going 80?' They say, 'I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention.' That's heartbreaking for me. How didn't you realize you were going 25 miles over the speed limit!”
Click here for more Indiana winter driving tips.