New episode of 'Your City at Work' about prevention of distracted, impaired driving | Community Spirit
PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - The focus of the newest episode of "Your City at Work" will be about the Paducah Police Department's partnership with Paducah Tilghman High School to educate students about the risks of impaired and distracted driving.
“We want to get into the community and grab young drivers while they are making their decisions and formulating their driving habits to get them to drive safely,” said Paducah Police Captain Donald Hodgson.
During this episode viewers will see two of the educational simulators provided by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. Students use a computer simulator which shows the effects of texting while driving. Rick Schad with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety says while using the simulator, 70 to 80 percent of the high school students crash when they try to send a text message. Students also have the chance to drive golf carts through a marked course while wearing goggles simulating the effects of driving with an alcohol level of twice the legal limit.
“Their brain is telling them they’re okay, but their visual impairment is causing them to strike cones which could be cars or people,” Schad said.
Students also use the computer simulator to test how long it takes them to react to a stop sign while driving 70 miles per hour and texting. Police say their reaction time is 50 to 70 percent slower when they try to send a text.
In 2011, 178 people were killed in distracted driving collisions in Kentucky.
“We’ll never know what those people were destined to do; what diseases they were destined to cure, what songs they were destined to write, or what books they were supposed to write,” said Captain Hodgson.
In addition to the educational component with local high school students and the general community, the Paducah Police Department has initiated a three-person traffic unit to focus on traffic enforcement. Captain Hodgson says Paducah’s statistics regarding collisions as compared with other cities in the state are staggering. Police say Paducah averages 1,600 collisions per year.
“If you take the total collisions and divide it by our population, we are number one in the Commonwealth, and that’s a spot we don’t want to be in," said Hodgson.
"Your City at Work" can be seen on Government 11, the governmental access channel of the City of Paducah. The episode can be viewed on Government 11 starting Tuesday, October 23 at 8:30 a.m. It also airs Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday at 6 p.m. The episode also is online at www.paducahky.gov and the various social media outlets for the City of Paducah including Youtube and Facebook.
The show is hosted and produced by Pam Spencer, Public Information Officer for the City of Paducah through the television production facilities at West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
For more information about Your City at Work or other Government 11 programming, call Tom Butler, WKCTC Television Production Coordinator, at 534-3208 or Pam Spencer at 444-8669.
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