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Simulator demonstrates dangers of texting while driving

Year 11 students in Victoria are taught the dangers of texting while driving using a simulator.

Driving simulators are showing young Victorian motorists the risks of using mobile phones behind the wheel.

Year 11 VCAL students at Hume Central Secondary College, a partner school of The Smith Family, were sponsored by Michelin Tyres to participate in the Motorvation program, a hands-on course designed to change young drivers' behaviour.

The simulator challenges students to drive at a set speed along a winding country road while texting a friend or relative.

According to the not-for-profit organisation, those aged 16-25 are the most at-risk group of drivers and are injured or killed at more than three times the rate of others.

We get them texting

Chief instructor Geoff Fickling said the course covered texting, drink-driving, speeding and other risk-taking behaviour in cars.

"We really get kids talking about what they think about driving and their personal thoughts and feelings – whether they think they're going to be overconfident or under-confident," he said.

"It's also engaging because you get them on the simulators... we get them texting.

"Thankfully at least half a dozen don't even want to try."

Campus principal Lisa Robinson said it was a natural extension of the Keys Please and Fit2Drive programs already offered to Year 10 and 11 students at the Broadmeadows school.

"We've got a commitment to making sure they are responsible citizens when they leave our college," Ms Robinson said.

"It's a terrific example of engaging kids in something that's practical but has a real-world application."

Would you like to see this program run at your school? Let us know in the comments below.