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MPH sponsors free texting and driving simulator

Area teenagers will be able to experience firsthand the dangers of distracted driving from 1 to 3 p.m. April 28 at Manlius Pebble Hill School in DeWitt.

Teen-agers can try their hand at the “Texting and Driving Simulator”, being toured nationally by the PEERS Foundation, an advocacy group dedicated to youth and teen safety.

MPH is bringing the simulator to its school with support and partial funding from the Town of DeWitt Police Department, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Safety Program/New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, and Liberty Mutual.

Those who want to try it will behind the wheel of an actual vehicle wearing goggles that present distracted and impaired driving situations on a virtual road. Teens will try to control the car under these conditions.

According to the PEERS Foundation, the risk of a crash or near crash is 1.3 times greater when the driver is talking or listening on a cell phone. The risk is 23.2 times greater when the driver is text messaging.

The program is free and open to the public.