CRASH COURSE: Mitchell students learn dangers of drunk, distracted driving
LEDGER – Mitchell High School’s juniors and seniors got firsthand experience this past Friday with the dangers of drunk and distracted driving.
Students participated in the Governors’ Highway Safety Program on the eve of the school’s junior-senior prom as part of Prom Promise, which is a pledge to have a sober and distraction-free prom night.
“I think this shows the students how distracted they really are,” said Courtney Beam, a detective with the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office. “This shows them what can happen if they take their eyes off the road for even a split second.”
Students spent the morning rotating between four stations – one with a car that was hit by a drunk driver, an obstacle course to show the effects of texting while driving and another where students wore goggles that simulated impaired sight from drinking alcohol and a breath alcohol testing unit known as a BATMobile. Stations were attended by members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, Spruce Pine Police Department, Spruce Pine Fire Department and other area first responders.
Senior P.J. Cox, of Poplar, drove a golf cart through and over a makeshift stop sign placed in a curve on the drunk-driving obstacle course.
“I didn’t even see that sign,” she said. “I think this is a good thing for kids, especially high school kids who don’t know how to drive.”