Preventing distracted driving is a team effort

Posted on: Wednesday, 30 July 2014 at 12:00:00 AM

The Albany RoadWise committee was recently involved in Albany’s Amazing Race.

The Albany RoadWise committee’s contribution involved a message on road safety with the emphasis being on avoiding driver distraction. 

Our activity location was the ruins of the old toilet block behind the Cafe at the Forts which provided an almost flat cement base. The committee used fluorescent tape to lay out a circuit which dodged cracks in the cement, weeds and other debris, around which a remote control car would be driven.

As teams arrived, team members were given an envelope with an identity for them to act out. The scenario involved a ‘mum’ and four ‘children’. They were all seated in folding chairs representing the seats of a car.

Mum was required to drive the children to their individual schools without being distracted by the antics of the children. The children were given instructions to behave in different ways. For example, they could argue with each other, whine to the mother about something, or read a book and ignore everyone else. Points were to be deducted each time she was distracted by the children and each time the children chose to act in a distracting manner.

At one point during the drive Mum’s mobile phone would ring and she would lose points if she answered it or was distracted by it.

To make things even more difficult Mum was required to ‘drive’ the remote controlled car around the circuit laid out on the cement. This wasn’t easy as the course was very bumpy and complicated and would have been even more difficult with children or a ringing mobile phone distracting her at the same time.

While this activity allowed for lots of fun and laughter, it also brought home just how easy it is to distract a driver and cause an accident. It was a good lesson to those who would obtain their driver’s licence in a year or two, and also to those who cause the distractions. It is hoped that the teams took the lessons home and shared them with the drivers and others in their families.

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