“Save A Life” Virtual Reality Program Warns Harford Students about Distracted and Impaired Driving

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Harford County public high school students behind the wheel of Save A Life simulators showing the impact of distracted and impaired driving.

Students at five Harford County high schools recently got a vivid lesson on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Hosted by the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, the Save A Life Tour brought driving simulators to students at Aberdeen, Edgewood, Havre de Grace, Patterson Mill, and Harford Technical high schools in late March. For a realistic experience, students sat behind the wheel as the simulator demonstrated the delayed response and lack of control resulting from texting, drugs or alcohol. Supported locally by a Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant from State Farm Insurance, the Save A Life program aims to reduce injuries and death among young drivers.

Paige Milanoski, a Havre de Grace teacher and Harford’s 2019 Teacher of the Year said the program made her students think.

“The Save A Life Tour provided my students an opportunity to reflect and experience firsthand the consequences of distracted and impaired driving,” she said. “Students should see that they have unlimited potential, but they are not invincible. Programs like this instill in them the awareness to pause and make informed and safe, choices.”

In addition to its two high-tech simulators, the Save a Life Tour includes a thought-provoking video and a fact-based presentation.

After attending one of the tour days, State Farm Agent Matt Gardner said, “I feel this is a great program to make high school students aware of the dangers of texting and driving as well as drinking and driving. My team and I were happy to be a part of this event.”

The Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, under the administration of County Executive Barry Glassman, continuously seeks innovative ways to teach youth about the dangers and risks associated with drugs and alcohol.

“April is Alcohol Awareness Month and prom season is approaching, which made this an ideal time to bring the Save A Life program to Harford County,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “A lot of teens think, ‘It’s never going to happen to me.’ This program uses virtual reality to show students the devastation that can come from bad decisions so they will make better decisions in real life.”

More information about the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy is on the county website at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/449/Office-of-Drug-Control-Policy on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HCODCP/ and available by calling 410-638-3333.

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