Students Learn Cautions of Drinking and Driving

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Carl Sandburg College students had a chance to simulate the effects of drinking and driving during a campus safety event Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Main Campus in Galesburg. Participants operated a golf cart through a closed obstacle course wearing blurred vision goggles to help give the visual impression of driving while under the influence of alcohol. The “Drive for Life” simulator was provided by Trooper Jason Wilson of the Illinois State Police (ISP).

Freshman Sara Pille and sophomore Emma McGuire each took a turn driving the course, as well as witnessing several others as they made their run through it. “It was really fun to see the way other people reacted to it and how many cones they hit,” said McGuire. As fun as it was to witness, Pille and McGuire understood the message that was being promoted at the event. “No one has done the course well…at all,” said Pille. “Everyone has hit several cones. It shows how dangerous it is to drink and drive.” Pille is a freshman from Farmington studying nursing, and McGuire is a sophomore from Monmouth planning to transfer after graduation. Both are members of the women’s cross country team.

Freshman Michael Walker felt the experience was a real challenge. “It should help people make the decision not to drink and drive,” said Walker. “I put those goggles on and thought ‘whoa, how am I going to do this!’” Walker , a Chicago native currently living in Galesburg, is studying automotive technology.

The free public event was held in conjunction with National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Sponsors include Carl Sandburg College Security Department, Galesburg Fire Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Department, D.A.R.E., TRIAD, and ISP.

“I feel good about the turnout today,” said Anthony Law III, assistant coordinator of environmental services. “I’m excited about the student response. We want to make this an annual thing, making it bigger and bigger every year. We hope next year to be able to invite some of the high school students to come. We’ll have some things for the smaller kids from the Children’s School. We’re trying to promote safety – that’s what it’s all about. Planting seeds and making students think ‘I have a few drinks, it may not be the smartest thing to get behind the wheel.’ That’s what this is all about.”