Driving Simulator Update
Simulator Update 11/1/2011
A few days ago Jim Lake, General Manager at Vern Eide Motorcars asked me if the Driving Simulators were busy. When the Virtual Driver Interactive simulators were first purchased by Vern Eide for use by Safety Village, we estimated they would be in use 100 plus or minus days per year. Now six months after they hit the streets we know our estimate was wrong. We have logged almost 100 days of use in this period and approximately 1,000 people have experienced “simulated reality” without the consequences of reality. Mr. Lake was very pleased when he heard that they were on the road and in use so much. He was also very happy to hear that the State Health Dept. in collaboration with the Office of Highway Safety, Volunteers of America and Sioux Empire Safety Village had secured funding for a third simulator.
Most recently, McCook County Schools in Salem, South Dakota had two simulators for over three weeks. Understanding the importance of the lessons available on the simulators, the school decided to be very proactive and include all students from 7th grade up. We are waiting for the actual number but it appears that Salem has seated at least 200 up and coming drivers.
On October 26th and 27th the third simulator was showcased at the Tribal Transportation Safety Summit in Flandreau. There were representatives from many of the First Nation Tribes in South Dakota, a number of State Officials, Law Enforcement and a few Federal Program Administrators. More than 60 people were exposed to the simulators as Eric Majeres from Volunteers of America presented the program.
In November two more training sessions are planned. On the 8th one simulator will be showcased to the SD Highway Patrol. On November 15th a simulator will train other law enforcement agencies and staff from the Dept. of Health. We are also planning three other training activities in the region during the winter months.
Impact: well the comments made by students and teachers from the schools indicate attitudinal shifts. The data collected giving names, ages, and driver’s license numbers if applicable is being shared with the State Office of Highway Safety. They will be able to study the data to determine if those who have taken simulator training have a lower rate of crashes or violations.
Again, from time to time we will keep all of our friends on Facebook and those of you who watch our website updated on this and other projects.
By the way, we are approaching the end of our fiscal year. If you have thought about making a donation to Sioux Empire Safety Village remember your donation is tax deductible. J Give us a call if you have any questions.
Dave Renli, Executive Director
Sioux Empire Safety Village