Teens get a lesson in safe driving

Isaak Janado
Isaak Janado
Steven Ching
Steven Ching

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Teens from around the state learned how to be safe drivers. That's not an easy thing to do, with more distractions like cell phones getting in the way.

A Department of Education program, with DTRIC Insurance and Tesoro, are teaching teen drivers to keep their eyes on the orad.

"We want to show them that even though we're just simulating things here, how they can go off track with things," said Steven Ching, Pearl City High School driver's ed teacher.

Things like texting while driving, for example. This course is just wide enough to let a car through without hitting any cones.

Waiakea High senior Isaak Janado is behind the wheel. And it's the job of veteran driving instructor Steve Ching to distract him by making him send a text message.

"It was very difficult," said Janado. "I took my eyes off the road for a split second, and all I hear was 'doosh, doosh, doosh, doosh.'"

"Anytime you hit a cone, you obviously have gone off track," said Ching. "And going off track could be anything from hitting somebody, hitting a guardrail, hitting the curbing."

A new component in this driver's ed training are goggles that simulate what a driver – or anybody – would actually see with a blood alcohol content of 0.12 and 0.15. Students try to walk the line with these goggles, and then maneuver around a course using some pedal-powered carts.

"Pretty hard, actually, because you can barely see," said Coty Perez, Radford High School junior. "Like when you have these one, you look to the left and right and it feels like that cone's right here, right under  your tire. So you don't know if you're going to hit this cone."

It's a lesson on how not to drive drunk or distracted.