The Rotary Club of Hazleton provided a Distracted Driving Simulator experience for seniors at The Hazleton Area High School on Monday, May 2nd and the Hazleton Area Career Center on Tuesday, May 3rd. This annual Rotary service project was started in 2007 as a pre-Prom event to discourage students from drinking and driving which so often leads to tragedy. The new experience also involved discouraging other distractions, such as texting, while driving.
“This is the second year... we have been able to provide four simulators instead of the previous one which means more students were able to have the opportunity for a “hands on” experience”. explains Rotary Club Project Chair Jason Brenner. “The simulator not only had the ability to induce intoxication effects into the user’s driving but also in the cars that are driving around that driver. It forces the student driver to not only worry about how they are driving on the road, but also to be careful and aware of how other motorists are driving. It also tackled the problem of texting while driving which has become a big safety issue for teen drivers. In addition, if they break the law or cause an accident during the simulation, they are “arrested” and experience a sentencing hearing for their crime”
We are very thankful to Lehigh Valley Health Network and Bill McQuilken, Trauma Prevention Coordinator, who provided the four simulators, free of charge”, comments Rotary President Ron Avellino. “We also appreciate the assistance provided to us from Amanda Rogan and Lori Herman, Hazleton Area School District and Mary Ann Feno, Pathways to Recovery, a Hazleton substance abuse treatment and education center. Thanks also to our Rotary Club members who offered assistance.”