Nothing reveals the truth like hands-on education, or in the case of the distracted driver simulator, hands-off education.
Throughout the day, Officer Joey Melvin, school resource officer, and teachers shepherded about 500 Milford High School students into the auditorium where they and this editor learned the dangers of distracted driving.
They watched an emotional video and then took a turn behind the wheel of a driving and texting simulator.
Here’s how it worked: you sit behind the wheel and drive, then the phone rings with a text message.
The simulator’s steering was extremely sensitive, so it was difficult to keep the vehicle on the road while maintaining the 45 mph speed limit.
This driver swerved, even before responding to the phone.
The young man monitoring the equipment had the authority to write a faux ticket, complete with a fine.
Truth be told, it’s very difficult and very unsafe to text and drive. This editor was ticketed for swerving, driving too slow, driving off the road, speeding and driving on the shoulder.
Grand total: $2,500 fine plus some nausea from the swerving.
Some student rides ended in less than a minute due to a fatal crash.
The program was funded through the state Office of Highway Safety.
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