Sacto 9-1-1
February 27, 2013
Elk Grove police seek teen drivers for distracted driving program

The Elk Grove Police Department is seeking 100 teenage drivers to participate in a simulated distracted driving program intended to educate teens about driving safety.

The young drivers are sought to take part in the "3D: Distracted Driving Demonstration" program during the week of March 25-29. Twenty students per day, during two different time periods, will participate in the demonstrations on a closed driving course.

They will take part in several driving scenarios while performing another task, such as using a smart phone to text or talk, applying makeup, eating and reaching for items in the car, according to a Police Department news release.

A certified driving instructor from the Police Department will accompany each teenager as a passenger to ensure that the driver performs the tasks and to intervene if necessary to ensure safety.

The teen drivers will be asked to answer a few questions before and after the demonstration to measure any change in their attitudes about distracted driving. The questionnaire will help gauge how much of an effect the demonstration had on participants, officials said. A video documenting the participants' efforts will be created and used as an educational tool.

"It's very important that teenaged drivers understand the consequences of distracted driving," Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner said in a written statement. "I believe that this hands-on training will clearly demonstrate to them that they cannot pay full attention to the road while using these devices or engaging in other distracting activities."

Parents interested in having their teenagers participate in the program should call the Elk Grove Police Department Traffic Bureau at (916) 478-8148 of see the website at http://www.elkgrovepd.org/ddd.

The program is funded with a $10,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation to educate teenagers about the dangers of distracted driving and is being held in conjunction with the Elk Grove Youth Commission.

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