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updated: 4/3/2014 4:10 PM

Harper College students get lessons on drunk, distracted driving

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  • Video: Impaired Driving Program

  • Andrew Tipton, a Save a Life Tour program manager, explains to Harper student Dan Serranol how to use a drunken driving simulator at the Palatine campus.

       Andrew Tipton, a Save a Life Tour program manager, explains to Harper student Dan Serranol how to use a drunken driving simulator at the Palatine campus.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Deonte Bates, a Harper student from Palatine, tests a simulator in the student center Wednesday.

       Deonte Bates, a Harper student from Palatine, tests a simulator in the student center Wednesday.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Deonte Bates tries to control the drunken driving simulator Wednesday during the Save a Life Tour's stop at Harper College in Palatine.

       Deonte Bates tries to control the drunken driving simulator Wednesday during the Save a Life Tour's stop at Harper College in Palatine.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report

Harper College students got behind the wheel of what looked and felt like a car parked inside the Student Center. Except this high-tech machine raised the alarm on the dangers of driving drunk and texting on the road.

Two simulators modeled those risks when Safe a Life Tour, a Grand Rapids-based alcohol awareness program, stopped by the Palatine campus Wednesday.

Each simulator came with three screens displaying video simulating driving, a driver's seat, a wheel and even a speedometer.

Harper student Exzavior Hargrove tried to obey the rules of the road and steer a simulator that mimicked the delayed reactions of an intoxicated motorist.

"It felt really weird," Hargrove said.

Organizers point to the troubling statistics: More than three people under the age of 21 are killed each day in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Roughly 150 students tried out the simulators by Wednesday afternoon, said Eugenia Kanakaris, the publicity and marketing chair of the Campus Activities Board.

"It's a great way to bring awareness to campus," she said.

It's not the first time the board has promoted safe driving.

In November, the student group invited a speaker who shared his own experiences with drunken driving.

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