About the TOT Program
The Turn Off Texting demonstration raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving by providing students with direct, personal exposure to the dangers of distraction while they remain in a safe environment. Turn Off Texting is unique, memorable and effective.
Turn Off Texting offers two versions of the program, free of charge in Vermont through a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and with support from generous sponsors like AT&T. A mobile classroom is currently traveling to schools with an advanced driving simulator. Students drive through a simulated world while texting, where the dangers of distraction become quickly apparent. In other seasons of Turn Off Texting, students get behind the wheel of a golf cart to navigate a course of cones while texting.
Turn Off Texting was started by the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles in 2009 and has been presented by the Youth Safety Council of Vermont since 2011.
The TOT Driving Simulator
The Turn Off Texting Program can serve 6-10 students per hour with its advanced Doron 550 driving simulator, in partnership with My Decision Driving.The simulator is state of the art, using three 42” screens that provide a 180-degree view, and controls with haptic feedback — creating motion and forces that make ‘driving’ it seem real. Roads and hazards are custom programmed and after students participate in a simulated distracted driving experience their route can be replayed on the monitors, showing them how their distraction led to dangerous situations for themselves and others. We’re glad to be present on your campus through an entire school day to make sure your driving students all have a chance to experience it. The mobile classroom requires a parking space that’s about thirty feet long. A nearby electrical outlet is helpful, but not required.
“This exercise really helped to show me how many people I would have killed if I texted and drove.”
— Peoples Academy student at a YSC Turn Off Texting demonstration
The TOT Golf Cart
When golf carts are used for the Turn Off Texting program, an outdoor, paved surface of 50’ x 150’ is needed; the driving instructor must be present; and students must have their Vermont Learner’s Permit. Approximately 10 students can experience the golf cart demonstration in an hour, and the demonstration can be at your school through the day, accommodating several classes.
It’s always a great help — and an additional learning experience for your students — when three student volunteers are available during the golf cart demonstrations. At any time, two would follow the golf cart and count (on either side of the cart) how many cones are touched by the cart as it is driven, and one student would replace cones that have been knocked over. Driver educators often have many students rotate into these positions, reinforcing the message of the Turn Off Texting demo.
Schedule Turn Off Texting at your school
To schedule a Turn Off Texting demonstration at your school or community event in Vermont, Visit the Request A Demo page and send us some basic information. We’ll get back to you quickly with word of availability and look forward to being there!