The Dryden and Ignace Area Impaired Reduction Strategy (DAIRS) are working on new ways to educate residents and youth in the area about the dangers of drinking and driving and new equipment has been helping them achieve that goal.
DAIRS recently visited Dryden Rotary to show off their new training equipment and to thank Rotary for their donation, which bought them a trailer to haul it around in.
The first simulator that was tested by Rotarians was like an arcade machine, with an attached steering wheel, gas and brake pedals and screen. The machine simulates driving while impaired, with delayed reaction times, difficult steering and objects on the screen to crash into.
The second simulator that was displayed outside is a go-cart that is controlled by a trained officer with a remote. The participant drives the go-cart around a track, but the officer can turn on impaired driving or distracted driving modes.. The different modes can alter reaction time, steering, and other variables.
“The driver interactive I had at the Ignace School last week, it was there from the 14 to the 18 for police week and the students really enjoyed it. I think it’s a fun way to educate them about impaired driving because you can talk to them about alcohol, and the effects of alcohol and the trauma it can cause at the same time that they’re having a little bit of fun with it too,” said OPP Constable Petrina Taylor-Hertz.
DAIRS plans to bring the simulations to Dryden High School in the near future and have already been out in the community for other events.
“DAIRS in 2018 we’re really focusing on education,” said OPP Sgt. Michelle Teeple “We also want to see the strengthening of the family unit, that’s why we are doing our movie nights; we bring in movies through the Centre, working with John Carlucci who is another Rotarian, and we try to bring in the younger age movies, we bring in some older type movies. We’re trying to provide a cheap night out, it’s only two dollars and you go and you get your movie, pop and chips, we don’t want the cost of a movie for a night out to be a barrier.”