Newburgh Free Academy Students Learn Safe Driving Skills

Newburgh Free Academy North Campus students in Tim Toomey and Mike Truncale’s Criminal Procedures class, part of the Forensics, Security and Law Academy, were recently given the opportunity to utilize two safe-driving simulators provided by Orange County STOP-DWI. Orange County STOP-DWI loans simulators to high schools throughout the county, following a submitted request, at no cost to the respective district. The school is then allowed to use the simulators, made possible through fundraising, donations and grants, for a three week period.

According to Truncale, Orange County STOP-DWI Program Assistant John Jones, visited the classroom to give students a brief overview on Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws, penalties, and showed students examples of field sobriety tests.

Of the 280 students enrolled in the Criminal Justice program, approximately 130 students, mostly juniors and seniors, participated in the simulator exercises by taking a turn at the wheel.

“For kids who haven’t received their permits or licenses yet this will hopefully take some of the fear away, assist them in getting their licenses and for kids with licenses it gives them an opportunity to review what they learned while practicing safe driving skills,” explained Truncale.

The simulators were used as part of lesson plan on safe driving. Each machine allows the teachers or driver to create a real-life scenario, using variables including country or city roads, changing weather conditions and time of day which allows students to take part in a real-life driving or DWI simulation. Students are able to practice avoiding accidents or hazards and the technology keeps a record of reaction time and stopping distance. When the student’s experience is completed, the simulators offer tips, feedback and statistics, which offer students the information needed to become a safer driver.

This is the first year Newburgh Free Academy has been able to bring the simulators into the classroom and Truncale hopes to continue the partnership with Orange County STOP DWI in the future.

Truncale explains the significance of the program for students, “Very few schools today provide driver’s education programs so this is considered to be a great tool. We are very fortunate to be able to utilize this outstanding technology and we thank Orange County STOP DWI for sharing this with Newburgh Free Academy students.”

Press Release by Kerry Butrick