Students at nine New York-area high schools have the opportunity to take part in a unique type of video game: a driving simulator complete with an irritating passenger who demands that the driver call her brother and send a text message for her.
While this may sound odd at first, the driving simulator has the lofty purpose of teaching teen drivers about the real dangers of distracted driving accidents. While they simulate driving, they must navigate the road amidst the chatter, text while driving and place a phone call.
The results can be distressing. The driving simulator has led test subjects into pretend accidents that are designed to show them the very real dangers of distracted driving.
New York’s Ban on Texting While Driving: Addressing the Dangers
New York law recognizes the serious danger of texting while driving. Its ban on the practice recently made texting while driving a primary offense. This means that police officers may pull over drivers for texting while driving even if they are not committing another driving offense.
The consequences of a texting while driving offense in New York are a $150 fine and a three-point license penalty. Police officers have already issued numerous tickets.
While this may seem like a steep punishment, consider the habits of some drivers. Among drivers 30 years old and younger, 30 percent admitted to texting while driving, according to information released by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.
With so many lives lost and so many people injured due to distracted driving, New York’s recent approach to enforcement may help. The distracted driving simulator, too, may have an impact on when teens choose to send a text message, and when they choose to focus on the road.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, NY students to see danger of texting whiledriving, 14 November 2011