Timmins police use simulator to teach the dangers of distracted driving

Police normally wouldn’t encourage you to use your cell phone behind the wheel but Timmins police are doing just that to teach an important safety lesson.

Timmins Police force recently acquired a driving simulator machine

Constable Rick Lemieux gets a woman set up in the distracted driving simulator. The machine is intended to show the dangers of distracted driving. (Supplied/Timmins Police Service)

Police normally wouldn't encourage you to use your cell phone behind the wheel but Timmins police are doing just that to teach an important safety lesson.

Recently, the service acquired a simulator designed to demonstrate the real effects of distracted driving.

Police say they're hoping to "drive home" the importance of having drivers pay attention behind the wheel.

"It is intended to reach the target of younger, novice drivers with a strong and meaningful message of the perils attached to distracted driving," Marc Depatie, corporate communications coordinator with the police service said.

"Young drivers are over represented in traffic collision statistics where the common causal factor is an element of distraction due to hand held communication devices."

So far, police have set up the simulator in local high schools as well as the Timmins campus of Northern College. Recently, police took the simulator to a local electronics store.

Marc Depatie is the corporate communications coordinator with the Timmins Police Service. (Erik White/CBC)

"The Timmins Police Services hopes to deploy the simulator as often as it can at various public venues in the hopes that the message resonates with the younger driving population," he said.

"We are also focusing on the older driving population who tend to overestimate their abilities to multi-task with an over-reliance on their years of driving experience."

The police service says the simulator cost $800. A donation by Glencore and the local DARE program helped pay for it.

With files from Wendy Bird


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