Teaching teens safe driving through simulation

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News
Courtesy: KNOE 8 News(KNOE)
Published: Mar. 24, 2017 at 5:59 PM CDT
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The NELA Children's Coalition is using grant money to buy a 'One Simple Decision' driving simulator, which is already planning to be used to teach teens the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.

The simulator looks like a video game, but it isn't programmed for a good time. In fact, it's a reality check.

"They actually will understand the dangers of impaired and distracted driving. They will go through the consequences of their actions," says Lamar Briggs, who teaches the 'One Simple Decision' simulator.

The simulator has three modes: practice, impaired and distracted.

"If they have an accident [in the simulator], then they'll through the program, go to court... they may go to jail," says Briggs.

It's a tool Briggs has used to teach safe driving for years. As a former sheriff's deputy, he's seen it all.

"I actually watched a child die in the backseat of a car as a result of an accident, a DUI," says Briggs.

A grant from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is paying for one for the Northeast Louisiana Children's Coalition, which Louisiana State Police Troop F is already planning to put to good use.

"We cover 12 parishes. We do lots of stuff at schools in just about all of those parishes, so it'll be good to get that simulator out and in the community," says LSP Sgt. Michael Reichardt.

The simulator costs $12,000.

There are already plans to use it at schools in Ouachita, Union, Lincoln and Morehouse Parishes.