Mobile Simulator Brings High-Tech Distracted Driving Awareness to VT Teens
October 27, 2016
Press Release by YSCVT.
Springfield High School to be first to experience new resource
The Youth Safety Council of Vermont is known for helping young drivers learn the dangers of driving while distracted. Usually our ‘Turn Off Texting’ program uses a very analog tool: golf carts and traffic cones. Beginning November 1 at Springfield High School, Vermont will take a step into the future as student drivers begin to experience a fully digital driving experience made possible through a new pilot partnership and funding provided by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
The Youth Safety Council of Vermont shares a DMV-designed Turn Off Texting program with schools during the spring and autumn semesters when the weather allows golf carts to be used to show drivers how dangerous it is to text while driving. Students try to navigate a course of cones while texting and almost always drive over the cones while they’re looking at their phones. The cones are proxies for pedestrians and other cars, and the students realize how important it is to stay focused while behind the steering wheel. On rainy days or the cold winter months, the program, which must operate outdoors, can’t be presented. A new partnership with Wallingford-based My Decision Driving is changing this, helping to expand this first-hand distracted driving experience into the winter season.
My Decision Driving operates a Doron 550 driving simulator which travels inside a 30-foot mobile classroom. 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. The Doron 550 is usually used to train law enforcement personnel; My Decision Driving operates the only private mobile driving simulator business on the East coast.
The Youth Safety Council of Vermont and My Decision Driving are demonstrating the effectiveness of simulated driving experiences as a learning tool. Working together with support from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and Turn Off Texting sponsor AT&T, they’ll provide a limited number of winter demonstrations free of charge, coordinated with driver educators at Vermont high schools during the 2016-2017 winter. James Lockridge of the Youth Safety Council said, “This pilot may help us change the driving attitudes of a whole generation of young Vermonters, making them safer decision makers and reducing major crashes on Vermont’s roads.”
Paul Burroughs of My Decision Driving said, “Just like with the ‘real world’ experience, young drivers live through the consequences of their choices while driving but benefit from making those choices in a virtual environment. Their education is first-hand and leads to life-long changes in perspective.”
Members of the press are welcome to visit the Youth Safety Council / My Decision Driving driving simulator demonstration when it is shared with students at Springfield High School on November 1 and 2, 7:45am-Noon. The school is located at 303 South Street.
Driver Educators in Vermont are welcome to schedule the golf cart or driving simulator Turn Off Texting programs at yscvt.org.
James Lockridge, Youth Safety Council of Vermont, (802) 881-9050, email@example.com
Paul Burroughs, My Decision Driving, (802) 770-8006, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Paul Burroughs, My Decision Driving CEO and Youth Safety Council of Vermont ‘Turn Off Texting’ Presenter, inside the Doron 550 mobile driving simulator. Photo: Times Argus, distributed with permission.
October 26, 2016
’16 in 16′ It Can Wait Pledge Competition
October 12, 2016
Join with AT&T to spread the message: Put the phone down in the car and make the roads safer for everyone! The ’16 in 16′ It Can Wait Pledge Competition is gathering 16 million promises to drive without distraction in 2016; participate and help win $5,000 for a distracted driving charity of your choice!
‘Safety Fair’ Planning at Mt. Abraham Union High School in Bristol
October 12, 2016
Planning a May 2017 safety fair at Mt. Abraham Union High School. Clockwise from left: Anne Friedrichs, Social Studies Teacher; Sharon Koller, Student Assistance Program Counselor; Siena Hoaglund, student, grade 12; Satinder Pabla, student, grade 12; Art Cyr, School Safety Aid; Bristol Police Chief Kevin Gibbs; Ann Pollender, Health Teacher; and Ellen Repstad, Assistant Principal. Photo by James Lockridge, Youth Safety Council of Vermont.
YSCVT Joins The Road User Safety Fair at The State House
September 15, 2016
The Youth Safety Council joined a bunch of other sun-loving Vermont Highway Safety Alliance members on Tuesday for a day on the lawn of the Vermont State House, sharing our programs with the public and trying out AT&T’s virtual reality ‘It Can Wait’ driving simulator. Photos and the press release, below!
AT&T Brings Virtual Reality Driving Simulator to 9/13 Road User Safety Fair at Vermont State House; Local High-Tech Road Safety Programs Highlighted; Family-Friendly Educational Activities
- Who: The AT&T Virtual Reality Driving Simulator and member organizations of the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance
- What: A free, all-ages public fair celebrating Vermont’s efforts to make its roads safer, with demonstrations and a showcase of high-tech driver education resources.
- When: Tuesday, September 13, 3:30pm-6pm
- Where: The Vermont State House lawn, 115 State Street, Montpelier, Vermont.
- Why: The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance has been bringing safety-minded Vermonters together for more than six years, working together to make Vermont’s roads safer and help Vermont’s drivers make safer decisions behind the wheel. These diverse organizations and programs will be on display, celebrating the good energy and ingenuity they put into making VT roads safer. The fair will highlight some of the high-tech tools and resources available to Vermont communities to help them foster safer drivers and make their own roads safer for all.
Members of the Vermont Highway Safety Alliance will host a Vermont Road User Safety Fair on the state house lawn in Montpelier on Tuesday, September 13, 3:30-6:00pm, showcasing how Vermonters are working together to make using Vermont’s roads safer for all. From cars to pedestrians to bicyclists to horse riders and farm vehicles, Vermonters all share the same roads but have different vulnerabilities. Visit the fair to learn about highway safety in Vermont, the resources that can help make the next generation of drivers safer, and see some of the high-tech tools that are changing driver education in the state. The fair is family-friendly and educational for all ages, https://www.facebook.com/events/134941460287532/
Guest speakers at 4:00pm will underscore Vermont’s commitment to continually improving the safety of Vermont’s roads and drivers. Speakers include Chris Cole, Secretary, VT Agency of Transportation; Robert Ide, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles; Glen Button, Chair, Vermont Highway Safety Alliance; and Owen M. Smith Jr., AT&T Regional Vice President.
A touring public demonstration of AT&T’s virtual reality driving simulator will show with immersive 360-degree ‘VR’ what next-generation technology can do to help emphasize how dangerous taking your eyes off the wheel can be while driving. Research shows that seven in ten people engage in smartphone activities while driving, and people are doing much more than texting from behind the wheel.** People can also use Google Cardboard and their own smartphone to experience the simulation at home. To learn more and view a YouTube video about it, visit ItCanWait.com/VR.
Also at the fair: Vermont organizations will demonstrate high-tech resources available to educators and communities across the state, including computerized driving simulators available through the Vermont Department of Health, the UVM Medical Center, and My Decision Driving as well as the Vermont-made mobile app JoyRyde, which provides incentives for not using a phone while driving. An online public crash data query tool that empowers individuals and town administrators to search through Vermont’s crash data will also be available to try thanks to VTrans; it helps identify unsafe intersections and sections of road, supporting town efforts to seek resources that help solve those safety issues. Local Motion will demonstrate new technologies including eBikes, LED lights and tools for law enforcement to measure safe passing distance between a bicyclist and a vehicle.
Bicyclists and horse riders will find allies at the fair including walk-bike advocates Local Motion and the Vermont Horse Council.
Other participants include Project RoadSafe, the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, My Decision Driving, and the Youth Safety Council of Vermont, VTrans, and more (see below).
About VHSA: The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance is a network of like-minded private and public organizations working together to collect, share and use data to develop highway safety strategies integrating road engineering and infrastructure; law enforcement and emergency medical services; and education and outreach. http://vermonthighwaysafety.org/
AT&T’s ‘It Can Wait’ is a national movement urging drivers to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones. The campaign began with a focus on not texting and driving. It has now expanded to the broader dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has:
- Helped grow awareness of the dangers of smartphone distracted driving to more than 90% of audiences surveyed.
- Inspired more than 8 million pledges to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones.
- Worked with departments of transportation in Texas, Kentucky and other states on research that suggests a correlation between It Can Wait campaign activities and a reduction in crashes.
- Collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows how statewide anti-texting laws impact the rate of texting while driving.
To learn more, visit ItCanWait.com.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, mobile, high-speed Internet and voice services. They’re the world’s largest provider of pay TV with TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. AT&T offers the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider.* And we help businesses worldwide serve their customers better with mobility and highly secure cloud solutions. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at http://about.att.com. Follow AT&T news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/att and YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/att.
© 2016 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.
*Global coverage claim based on offering discounted voice and data roaming; LTE roaming; voice roaming; and world-capable smartphone and tablets in more countries than any other U.S. based carrier. International service required. Coverage not available in all areas. Coverage may vary per country and be limited/restricted in some countries.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
**Research commissioned by AT&T and conducted by Braun Research. Polled 2,067 people in the U.S. aged 16-65 who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day.
Contact: Norman James, (802) 229-8523, Email, email@example.com
Project RoadSafe is a driver-safety awareness program designed to assist both employers and employees of the Vermont business community to understand better the realities and consequences of distracted and impaired driving.www.agcvt.org/project-roadsafe/
UVM Medical Center
Contact: Chrissy Keating, (802) 999-0930, Christina.Keating@uvmhealth.org
The UVM Medical Center’s Distracted Driving Simulator is used as key component of our Txt U L8R Program. UVM Medical Center and the Clinical Simulation Laboratory at the UVM College of Medicine created “TXT U L8R” a unique program designed to discourage individuals from texting while driving. Key elements include a demonstration of an advanced driving simulator, presentation of a realistic trauma scenario, a testimonial from the victim of an accident caused by a teen driver who was texting, and a demonstration of several smartphone apps designed to prevent texting while driving. uvmhealth.org/txtul8r
Youth Safety Council of Vermont
Contact: James Lockridge, (802) 373-2890, firstname.lastname@example.org
The YSCVT Turn Off Texting demonstration raises awareness about the dangers of distracted driving by putting students behind the wheel of a golf cart to navigate a course of cones while texting. It’s a unique, memorable and effective experience for participants, and the demonstration is provided free of charge in Vermont through a grant from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and support from generous sponsors. yscvt.org
Vermont Highway Safety Alliance
Contact: Susan Clark, (802) 828.3397, Susan.Clark@vermont.gov
The Vermont Highway Safety Alliance is a network of like-minded private and public organizations working together to collect, share and use data to develop highway safety strategies integrating road engineering and infrastructure; law enforcement and emergency medical services; and education and outreach. vermonthighwaysafety.org/
Vermont Horse Council
Contact: Heidi Krantz, email@example.com
An association dedicated to protecting the interests of horsemen and women and the horse industry of Vermont and to help communicate among riders and the public. vthorsecouncil.org
VTrans Public Crash Data Query Tool
Contact: Mandy White, 802-595-9341, Mandy.White@vermont.gov
The Highway Safety Data Unit of VTrans, Vermont’s Agency of Transportation, works to create a safe, reliable and multimodal transportation system throughout the state by gathering and sharing information. They’ve created a public crash data query tool that anyone can access to understand where crash data identifies that improvements to roads might be needed. http://apps.vtrans.vermont.gov/CrashPublicQueryTool/
Distracted Driving Simulator, VT Dept. Health
Contact: Stephanie Busch, (802) 734-4210, Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Distracted Driving Simulator is a tool available to Vermont Drivers Educations classrooms to increase young drivers’ awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Utilizing an interactive computer program students have a change to better understand what you don’t see when you are looking at your phone. The program is supported by the Emergency Medical Services for Children program at the Department of Health.
Contact: Terry Goguen, Cell (781) 296-6853, email@example.com
JoyRyde is a reward-based mobile application that prevents people from using their mobile devices while driving. The app keeps track of how far one has traveled without using their phone. Once JoyRyde is closed, the tracking via GPS discontinues as well. Each user has a bank that stores all of their safe miles driven, which can be accessed to buy digital coupons for an assortment of things, ranging from discounts on food to charitable donations. JoyRyde rewards drivers for doing the right thing. joyryde.co
Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
Contact: Nancy Andrus, Nancy.Andrus@vermont.gov
The Education and Safety Unit at the Department of Motor Vehicles oversees the Vermont Motorcycle Rider Education Program (VREP), oversees and enforces the rules and regulations affiliated with public and private school bus pupil transportation and safety, diminished driver skills training, fraudulent document training for DMV staff, and oversees the licensing and regulation for all of Vermont’s private driver education and commercial vehicle driver education training schools as well as the third party testing program. dmv.vermont.gov
My Decision Driving
Contact: Paul Burroughs, (802) 770-8006, firstname.lastname@example.org
My Decision Driving provides specialized driver training to police, fire , EMT, teens, the elderly, and hospitals. My Decision Driving also rents, leases and sells used driving simulators. mydecisiondriving.com
TextLess Live More
Contact: Beth Bingham, email@example.com
Textless LiveMore (TLLM) is a national student-led nonprofit founded in 2013 with a dual mission: To raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving in order to save lives and prevent tragic accidents, and to encourage people to use technology in a mindful manner. TLLM is a student-to-student movement, a key driver of its effectiveness, as teens listen to other teens. TLLM works with the administration of schools and community organizations to identify students who can lead this awareness campaign forward. textlesslivemore.org
Contact: Emily Boedecker, Cell (802) 778-0919, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vermont’s advocate for walking and biking will be demonstrating old and new technology, from the bicycle itself that some claim will celebrate its bicentennial next year, to new technology ideas that include eBikes, LED lights and tools for law enforcement to measure safe passing distance between a bicyclist and a vehicle. New technologies that eliminate distraction and focus the driver’s eyes on the road are critical to keep our roads open for everyone. However, until all vehicles on the road include infallible technology to avoid crashes, Local Motion will also demonstrate safe and defensive riding techniques.
AARP Smart Driver Program
Contact: Douglas Masson, State Coordinator for VT, (802) 644-8310, email@example.com
The AARP Smart Driver Course, offered by AARP Driver Safety, is the nation’s first and largest refresher course designed specifically for older drivers. For more than 30 years, the classroom courses have taught millions of drivers proven safety strategies so they can continue driving safely for as long as possible.
Central Vermont Driving School
Contact: John Lynch, (802) 496-5251, firstname.lastname@example.org
Presenting student projects representing various drivers ed topics.
Vermont State Police
Contact: John Flannigan, (802) 872-4045, John.Flannigan@vermont.gov
Foundation for a Drug Free World
Contact: Maria Roosevelt, (888) 668-6378, email@example.com,
The Foundation for a Drug Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions to live drug free. The Foundation is the largest nongovernmental drug education organization, with distribution of more than 72 million drug awareness printed and audio-visual study aids reaching 200 million people annually. The Foundation makes its materials available for free and distributes them to educators worldwide in 20 languages through drug prevention partnerships (both secular and nonsecular), including agreements with a variety of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations and institutions worldwide. www.drugfreeworld.org
Project Yellow Light: 2014 College 1st Place PSA Video
August 9, 2016
A college PSA video winner from Project Yellow Light!
Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.
July 28, 2016
Thank You, Turn Off Texting Sponsors!
July 5, 2016
This season of the YSCVT Turn Off Texting program is generously sponsored by AT&T and the Vermont Insurance Agents Association, with support from the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the Vermont Association of Domestic Property & Casualty Insurance Companies. In the photo above, Andrew Kingman, AT&T Regional Director, External Affairs, Northern New England (center) joins TOT Presenter Paul Burroughs and Driver Educator Pam Ricker during a TOT demonstration at Cabot High School.
Turn Off Texting at U32 High School, East Montpelier
June 13, 2016
Turn Off Texting was presented by the Youth Safety Council of Vermont at U32 High School in East Montpelier on May 27, 2016. Andrew Kingman and Officer Benjamin Michaud of the Montpelier Police were special guests as TOT presenter Paul Burroughs brought the golf cart presentation to students of driver educator Sandie Chaloux.
Paul Burroughs, YSCVT Presenter: Red shirt with yellow logo.
Sandie Chaloux, Driver Educator: Blue shirt with white art.
Andrew Kingman, Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T: Pink shirt, gray pants.
Officer Benjamin Michaud, Montpelier Police Dept.: Police uniform.
Rep. Catherine Toll Visits Turn Off Texting at Cabot High School
May 24, 2016
Vermont Representative Catherine Toll (Caledonia-Washington) visited the students of Cabot High School to participate in a ‘Turn Off Texting’ demonstration presented by the Youth Safety Council of Vermont with guest host Andrew Kingman, AT&T Regional Director, External Affairs, Northern New England. The demonstration, called ‘Turn Off Texting, is a free demonstration provided by the Youth Safety Council to high schools and community groups across the state, info at yscvt.org.
Toll and Kingman shared statistics and experiences about making safe decisions with 16 young drivers, and provided information about how dramatically dangerous it is to drive while distracted, noting using a handheld device at the wheel is as dangerous as driving drunk. Kingman shared information from the AT&T ‘It Can Wait’ campaign, itcanwait.com, to prevent distracted driving, and mentioned the free AT&T ‘Drive Mode’ mobile app that automatically disables cell phone distractions while driving, https://youtu.be/D77-ncDZBEM
Presenter Paul Burroughs guided students as they steered through a course of traffic cones in a golf cart while texting, learning first-hand that distracted driving has dangerous consequences. They crushed cones with the cart, unable to drive accurately while using their phones. Driver Educator Pam Ricker invited the YSCVT Turn Off Texting demonstration to campus.
High resolution photos are available at https://goo.gl/photos/EH1kkJKJrm9hJQrw7
To contact James Lockridge, Executive Director, Youth Safety Council of Vermont: (802) 881-9050, firstname.lastname@example.org. A schedule of upcoming Turn Off Texting demonstrations throughout the state is published at yscvt.org and members of the press are always welcome to attend.
To contact Rep. Catherine Toll: (802) 684-3671, email@example.com
To contact Andrew A. Kingman, Regional Director, External Affairs, Northern New England (VT, NH, ME): (617) 416-1367, firstname.lastname@example.org