Combating Teen Distracted Driving


FREEPORT, Fla. Educators and law enforcement officials are using a private company to demonstrate to teenagers the dangers of texting and driving.

Company representatives are actually showing them what happens when you are distracted behind the wheel.

Walton County is hoping students will take the message to heart.

We've all done it at one time or another. looked at our phone, fixed our hair, even tried to find that perfect song on the radio, while we're driving.

But one nationally known company is trying to demonstrate the dangers of those activities, especially to teenagers.

"They have always grown up being connected to this phone and to the world. So when they get in the car, they don't think about it really." Jonathan Saigeon of the Save The Life Tour visited Freeport High School Friday, to give teens, with and without licenses, a chance to try his driving simulator.

The system works just like a car, with gas and brake pedals, a steering wheel...and a phone, which sends the teen a text every 30 seconds. The students are supposed to respond. But for many when they do...this happens. A Crash

Schools are using the program nationwide to promote safe driving. It doesn't just tell teens it's bad to text and drive...it shows them. One them was Jenna Batson. "It was really making me nervous, it was difficult to actually stay on the road."

Walton sheriff's deputies are hoping this program encourages more teens to come to the department's teen driver challenge. Lt. James Pitman told us, "It is a real world application using the vehicles they normally drive and we put them through the same course we go through at the law enforcement academy."

Saigeon spent all week visiting all of Walton County's high schools.


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