Senior students from Tullamore Central School have spent time learning about the effects of alcohol, drugs, and distractions on driving.
They have participated in training on a driving simulator provided by the Rotary Club of Young in collaboration with Parkes Rotary and Neighbourhood Central.
“We take students in pairs and they experience two training modules on the simulator,” said Frank Lincoln of Young Rotary.
“With the ‘impaired driving’ module a participant first drives for about 5 minutes to experience normal driving conditions. Then they stop, the simulator screens blur a little, and delays are inserted into braking and steering responses.
The participant drives again for about five minutes and the difference between normal and impaired driving is compared by means of a statistical report. The experience provides a powerful demonstration of the effects of drugs and alcohol on driving ability. It is an experience you should never try to provide “for real” with real drugs or real alcohol in a real vehicle on a real road.
“Distraction is demonstrated by asking candidates to read text messages and carry out simple mental tasks while driving. They experience how difficult it is to maintain control when distracted.” said Frank.
“Neighbourhood Central and the Rotary Club of Parkes have formed a partnership to pursue purchasing a simulator to be based in Parkes but available to schools within a radius of say 100km from here,” says the Secretary of the Rotary Club of Parkes, Ken Engsmyr.
“Trials at local schools with the Young simulator are helping us to determine the demand for a locally based simulator”.
There is little doubt about the need for simulator training to compliment other safe driving programs for learner and newly licenced drivers: road fatalities for young drivers make it clear that more still needs to be done to improve their safety on our roads.
Feedback about the impaired driving experience from a student: “Driving under the influence is not only illegal, it is hard.” Point made!
Source and Image Credit: Tullamore Central School’s Newsletter.