Student Drivers Learn Dangers via Simulated Experience

Student Drivers Learn Dangers via Simulated Experience photo thumbnail81474

Thanks to a hands-on experience from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, more than three dozen driver’s education students at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School now have a better understanding of the dangers of drinking and driving.

On Oct. 4, the S.T.O.P.P.E.D. (Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers) community education program visited the school to demonstrate the effects of driving while intoxicated. Deputy Thomas Indence and Deputy Thomas Young spoke to the juniors and seniors about how one bad decision to get in the car after consuming alcohol could affect the rest of their lives. 

More than just a lecture presentation, students then had the opportunity to test out their driving skills after having too much to drink. Students drove a pedal car through a cone maze while wearing goggles that impair their vision and balance as if under the influence of alcohol. The cones were designated as people and each time they hit a cone, they were responsible for taking a life. 

After the simulated driving portion, students then had to wear the goggles and walk through the maze with a partner, trying to avoid the cones and get home safely.

Driver’s education instructor Karen Perrone and members of the Sheriff’s Office have been working together to present the program to Copiague students for the last six years in the hopes of spreading the message.