Calgary students get a lesson in distracted driving

The lesson plan today for seniors at Henry Wise Wood High School was all about the dangers of distracted driving.

'We're so attached to media and everything, I mean, it's hard,' says student

Henry Wise Wood students failed to safely drive through an obstacle course set up by police because they were bombarded by distractions. 0:27

Seniors at Henry Wise Wood High School were encouraged to use their phones and play loud music while driving today.

Calgary police hope these teens will try to avoid these distractions in the future by seeing the risks in a controlled environment.

Brent Charmichael say manoeuvring the makeshift obstacle course in his school's parking lot wasn't easy, especially since he was trying to text and listen to fellow student Travis Ringguth while music was blasting in the background. 

  • Watch the video above to see how Charmichael does in the obstacle course.

Const. Jim Lebedeff says — despite new legislation — people are not getting the message.

"I've seen people texting down the highway at 120 kilometres an hour. You might as well shut your eyes for 10 seconds and drive down the highway, cause you're doing the same thing."

Charmichael says he will try to put the phone down but admits it will be a tough challenge.

"For sure on the way home from school today and probably for the rest of the week, and I'll see how it goes," he said.

Danica Josefchak, 17, says she knows it's dangerous but she still uses her phone when she's driving.

"In this day and age, we're so attached to media and everything, I mean, it's hard," she said. 

"People go away and their phone's with them and it's constantly posting and this and that. Like you're camping, but you're still on your phone. Like we're so attached to it that even in a 10-minute car ride we can't not let our friends know what's going on." 

Police say adults are just as bad as younger drivers, but they hope the teens will pass on the lesson to their peers and parents.

With files from Tara Fedun


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