The Professor Gets Pulled Over for a Good Cause Elbert County Sheriff enlists GM Performance Parts GTO driver to promote safe driving Sugar Hill, Ga., May 25, 2007 -- For one sunny Georgia afternoon a few weeks ago, the parking lot at Warren ...
The Professor Gets Pulled Over for a Good Cause
Elbert County Sheriff enlists GM Performance Parts GTO driver to promote safe driving
Sugar Hill, Ga., May 25, 2007 -- For one sunny Georgia afternoon a few weeks ago, the parking lot at Warren Johnson Enterprises resembled the set of a reality show, swarming with squad cars with their lights flashing and numerous sheriff's deputies patrolling the grounds. Despite the official-looking nature of the event, including one officer issuing NHRA Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson a summons, there was no cause for alarm. With an unexpected break in the schedule, the GM Performance Parts GTO driver was simply giving back to his community, taking part in a photo shoot as part of a campaign to help promote safe driving.
"The Elbert County Sheriff's Department contacted us before the Atlanta race to see if I would be interested in participating in a campaign to promote safe driving," said Johnson. "Naturally, I jumped at the chance, especially since it was aimed at younger drivers, who need as much help as they can get, although there are certainly a few older drivers who could also use some advice.
"We set a date, and they came by the shop, spending the better part of an afternoon taking different shots with a patrol car positioned behind our GM Performance Parts GTO, and a sheriff towering over me as I sat in the car, as if he was writing a ticket. Even though I knew it was all staged, I have to admit it still gave me that familiar, uneasy feeling."
The campaign, which is scheduled to kick off in the next few weeks, will feature billboards with images of Johnson with members of the sheriff's office, as well as a message encouraging drivers to confine their high-speed maneuvers to the track. The program will also include similar displays featuring famed road racer and part-time NASCAR competitor Boris Said, with coverage expected throughout Elbert county, where speed-related incidents account for the majority of vehicular fatalities.
"Memorial Day weekend is traditionally one of the worst on our nation's highways, so the timing couldn't be better for this campaign," said Johnson. "I truly respect what the members of the law enforcement community do on an everyday basis, and know they will be out in force this weekend, helping to keep our highways [IMAGE]safe. Everyone from the Elbert County Sheriff's department was tremendous to work with, and I was glad to do my part. Hopefully, drivers of all ages will heed our advice, leaving the high-speed driving to the professionals."