Oxford senior, Savannah Goodrich
Text and photo by Steev Riccardo
OXFORD—Oxford High School students who took a simulated driving test this past week were able to see the results of drinking and driving, texting and driving—or being distracted while driving.
The UMass teen D.R.I.V.E. program, which stands for “Distracted Reality – an interactive virtual education,” allows teenagers to spend 30 minutes in a simulator called “One Simple Decision.” This simulator focuses on “the perils of distracted driving including the use of cell phones and driving under the influence.” By participating, the driver is introduced to a variety of distractions, which help reinforce making the right decisions for safe driving.
Oxford High School Principal Kevin Wells discovered the program and helped bring in to the high school.
“Last year the University of Massachusetts Medical School was able to procure a grant, and I noticed that they had a truck that was going to all the high schools in the city of Worcester. I took the liberty of calling them, and they said they were only doing city schools because of the way the grant was written.”
Wells asked them to contact him if that changed, which it did. “I am glad that I took that initiative because they called me to see if we would still be interested. This entire week they have been here from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.”
Driving instructor, Tom Welch, who operates the truck which is sponsored by All-State Insurance said, “We are trying to show the implications of drunk driving and texting and driving with this simulation. We also go through the reality of being stopped, taking a sobriety test—and the reality of being booked and brought to the impound. There is also a simulation of going in front of a judge. It’s all based on reality. All State funds the program, and they do a great job. They get about 100 kids during the week to watch the 30 minute simulation.”
Oxford High School senior, Savannah Goodrich, decided to try the program after one of her friends told her that it would be a good experience for her. “I have obviously talked on the phone and driven before, and the test was difficult. When it comes to driving impaired after watching this it is something I would never do, so I definitely learned a lot from it.”
“I think this program is especially important here at Oxford High School because we don’t have our own in house drivers education program,” said Wells, “It’s about education. Everything we do, we try to educate the kids in some way, shape, or form. This has been a great week and a great program. The kids are really enjoying doing it.”
- Tuesday, 01 May 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News