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IMPACT team teachers dangers to young drivers
Bryan County High School students learned life-saving lessons recently during their driver's education class that included demonstrations and activities from the Pembroke Police Department's Informed Minds Preventing Auto Crashes of Teens (IMPACT) team - photo by Photo provided.
The Pembroke City Police Department’s Informed Minds Preventing Auto Crashes of Teens (IMPACT) team held its annual “Fatal Vision” presentation and activities Sept. 21-22 at Bryan County High School.
This awareness program, which is sponsored by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, teaches and informs teenagers about the dangers of unsafe driving practices and underage driving.  
“This Fatal Vision program is very valuable, and the officers always do an excellent job of reaching out to the kids and educating them,” Michael Butler, driver’s education instructor, said.
On the first day, officers Matt Lynn and Stacey Strickland astutely guided Butler’s driver’s education classes through a realistic presentation meant to inform the students about the life-altering consequences of underage driving, driving under the influence and other unsafe driving practices.
Officer Lynn informed the class that over the past five years the incidents of teenager crashes and fatalities in Bryan County have decreased significantly since the inception of the IMPACT program.  
On the next day, officers Strickland and McElveen took the students through a series of physical activities and a driving obstacle course while wearing special goggles dubbed “the Fatal Vision goggles.”  
These goggles have lenses that distort the students’ vision to mimic what it feels like to be impaired while trying to drive a vehicle.
The activities were highly effective. When asked, the students said the presentation proved that drinking and driving is a bad idea and that the first-hand experience they were given made them understand just how dangerous unsafe driving is.
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