BHS students learn from driving simulator

BHS students learn from driving simulator
Posted on 09/03/2021
A BHS student uses the driving simulator.

Bellefontaine High School students are learning the effects of distracted and impaired driving firsthand through a driving simulator.

One of the Bellefontaine Police Department’s driving simulators will be used all year at BHS.

Last week the simulators were used in several classes. BHS students drove two different simulations. In the first simulation, students used their personal cell phones and texted with the simulator while driving.

When students used the driving simulator they learned how difficult it was to text and drive and just how easily they were distracted from driving.

In the second simulation, students were driving as if they were impaired by alcohol, drugs, or something else. The simulator over exaggerated turns, speed, and braking when they were driving just like an impaired driver would do.

Once the students made enough traffic violations or had a crash, the simulator played videos taking students through field sobriety tests with an officer, medical treatment in a hospital or in a medical helicopter, into the jail to be booked in and placed in a holding cell, to court in front of a judge to be sentenced, and then to a job interview showing how bad decisions can affect them years after the incident.

The simulator also shows an estimated cost of damage to the vehicle, insurance rates, fines, and lost time from work.

BHS School Resource Officer Doug Walters said, “I hope by using the driving simulator with the students, they will make better decisions when they drive.

“My hope is after talking with me and seeing how easily it is to miss something when being distracted when driving they choose to make better decisions when driving.

“I also hope students make the right choice not to drink underage and definitely choose not to drive after drinking alcohol.”

The police department has two driving simulators that can be used at schools or events thanks to the Bellefontaine Rotary Club and Maria Tiberi Foundation.

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