Students get hard lessons in safe driving

Drinking, speeding and distracted driving lessons served up at LSS

Grade 12 student Kristen Viberg tries her hand at the ICBC driving simulator Friday at Ladysmith Secondary.

Grade 12 student Kristen Viberg tries her hand at the ICBC driving simulator Friday at Ladysmith Secondary.

A state-of-the-art driving simulator that give quick and queasy lessons on the dangers of distracted driving.

A pair of vision-warping beer goggles that made the simple act of catching a ball an adventure.

And the firsthand account of father who lost his son in a street-racing incident.

If the new drivers at Ladysmith Secondary School weren’t prepared for risks of the road before, the past two weeks may have made a big difference.

The school drove home a safe driving message with a pair of recent events.

On April 24, Ladysmith RCMP, South Island Traffic Patrol and ICBC combined forces to lead groups of students through a two-part seminar in driver education.

In part one, ICBC’s Caroline Robinson put students behind the wheel of the simulator. Equipped with a gas pedal, a brake pedal, students weaved their way through realistic streetscapes while listening to the steady patter of backstreet driver.

Woe the poor cat or stop sign that happened to appear while the student got distracted by their simulated cell phone, or the backseat chatterbox.

Simultaneously, RCMP officers guided another group through the rules of impaired driving and a breathalyser test, then handed them the pair of beer goggles and challenged them to catcha ball, or walk their way through an obstacle course.

Then, on April 26, the school received a visit from Jammin 4 Jay, a society dedicated to raising awareness about dangerous driving. They heard from Greg Drew, a professional firefighter whose teenage son died in a 2003 Langley car crash caused by speed racing.

Drew has been touring the province with the twisted wreckage of his son’s car and doing presentations ever since.