With a hands-free driving bill in the works on Beacon Hill and road trip season fast approaching, Boston College High students are getting a crash course in distracted driving this week.
About 100 of the school’s newly licensed are taking breaks from class to climb into driving simulators throughout the week. The school is the latest stop for a gadget-equipped trailer that the insurance company Arbella has been driving around southern New England for the past six years.
April is also distracted driving month, so representatives from the Massachusetts State Police were on hand for a media meet-and-greet Wednesday in the high school’s parking lot.
State law makes it illegal to text while driving. Drivers under 18 can also be fined for talking on the phone. A bill, which so far has cleared the state Senate, would outlaw all drivers from using any electronic devices without using hands-free technology.
Police plan to run a three-week-long enforcement campaign next month, said Massachusetts State Police Colonel Richard McKeon
McKeon also took the opportunity to try the simulator himself for the first time. He was instructed to fiddle with his phone — which he did — and rear-ended another digital driver on the digital roadway at 55 miles per hour.
“I can see the impact it would have on maybe someone who’s just learning to drive,” he said. “But even myself, who’s been driving for many years, it really hits home. That time off what you’re paying attention to — it happens like that.”