Timber Creek High School students drive drunk — in a safety simulator

The Gloucester Township Police Department is giving students a simulator about the dangers of drunk driving for a safer prom night.

The Gloucester Township Police Department Traffic Safety Unit and School Resource Officers are collaborating with the Timber Creek High School to conduct important hands on safety lessons to help them have a safer prom night. Students will learn about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving by actually driving the Gloucester Township Police DWI Simulator on a controlled course while attempting to text.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers are more likely than any other age group to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Texting while driving can cause drivers to focus their attention to texting long enough to miss a person running in front of the vehicle, the vehicle in front of you making a sudden stop, or to miss the traffic light changing to red.

Additionally, students will also utilize specially enhanced goggles that simulate when a person is under the influence of alcohol while driving the DWI Simulator. The enhanced goggles purpose is to duplicate impairment caused by a specific level of alcohol or drug ingested by a human. The goggles distort vision and cause reactions that mimic behaviors exhibited by someone under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.

Students will also learn the requirements of New Jersey’s Graduated Drivers License program and a Gloucester Township Local Ordinance which was adopted April 25, 2011 combating under aged drinking. The ordinance makes underage drinking on public and private property a violation.

Timbercreek High School’s texting and DWI safety lessons will be held Monday, May 1 between 7:25 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For exact times and details, please contact the Traffic Services Bureau at (856) 374–5714 or jgittens@gtpolice.com.

For important information regarding underage drinking and drinking and driving, please visit www.madd.org.