Liberty High School students learn dangers of impaired and distracted driving

Published: Nov. 16, 2018 at 5:05 PM CST
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The Arrive Alive Tour made a visit to students at Liberty High School Friday to show students first-hand the dangers of driving while distracted or impaired.

Behind me, students here at Liberty High School are going through the Arrive Alive Tour simulator. It's one of the most realistic simulators they can go through to teach them about distracted or impaired driving. The students can actually control the speed of the vehicle and actually get to steer it. Now they're given one of three scenarios to go through: they're either driving while drunk, driving while high or asked to text while driving.

"If we could change just one life, that's what we're here for," Arrive Alive's Mallory McKenzie told KY3.

The Liberty High Traction Team raised money in order for 400 of their fellow students to go through three different stations: the simulator, the video testimonial and then the drunk goggles station.

"The students may go through texting and driving, which is a normal drive and their asked to type into their phone at some point. There's also drinking and driving and marijuana and driving. For both of those there's sort of a filter applied to the car," McKenzie said.

"I was on the road, pushing the gas pedal, then all the sudden I swerved off and it felt like I was actually in an accident," Alyssa Ledgerwood added.

Many students thought the texting and driving would be easier.

What were you asked to text?

"What was the homework tonight. I couldn't even type the word what and I was all over the road, swerving in the other lane, off the road. I was everywhere," Kennedy Cooley exclaimed.

That's not all.

"Students get mock citations, showing them how this would affect them in real life and any statistics related to their kind of accident," McKenzie explained.

The video testimonial was a half-hour video of people sharing stories of losing loved ones in impaired driving accidents.

Then at the final station, students were given goggles that blurred their vision and asked to walk a straight line, just as they would in a field sobriety test.

"It's darkened and it's all like swirled. The bottom of your vision is kind of blurry," Lucas Langston said.

"Some of them put the goggles on and were scared, so they took them off because they didn't like the feeling," Officer Josh Ashlock told KY3.

Students could also pedal a four-wheel car through a cone setup while wearing the goggles that simulate a person with a blood-alcohol content of .15.

"I've talked to several of the kids that have gone through all of it and a lot of them have said they've learned a lot from the stations they've gone through. If we just save one kid....I believe we've done that today," Ashlock said.

A banner in the hallway started filling up with names with students pledging not to text and drive.

"We want to see everyone graduate. It's always really sad to hear about car crashes when their preventable," the Traction Team said.

The Traction Team hopes to bring similar programs to the school in the future.