It’s crime prevention week and Halton Police are putting a focus on the dangers of distracted driving with the help of a simulator at the Burlington mall.
Just like a car, you sit down at the wheel and hit the gas.
A screen in front of the participant shows a roadway and all of the unknowns that come with it, from lighting and weather to the actions of other drivers.
The person is then required to take out their phone and start texting.
Sergeant Dave Tutte says while enforcement on the roadways has made an impact this is one preventative measure that can prove effective, especially with youth.
“They’re saying right off the bat, I won’t text and drive anymore, they just weren’t aware of all the near misses they were having.”
The Drivewise simulator helps to highlight a person’s near misses by showing them how they performed after the fact.
Car doors open, pedestrians and cyclists emerge and other cars seemingly come out of no where, to the surprise of many.
There are also stop signs and speed signs that tend to go ignored.
Sadie Miles buckled up and sent her Mom a few texts from the simulator.
“Definetly some close calls,” she said ” and one crash at the start.”
Tutte says distracted driving has been identified as a major issue by Halton Region residents.
Ultimately, he says, police don’t want to find themselves in a situation where they have to issue a ticket.
For distracted driving in Ontario that fine is 490 dollars and three demerit points.
“If we can teach them in this environment, then that works better for everybody” he says.