Students at Archbishop Jordan Catholic High School (ABJ) got a chance to understand the effects of impaired driving. 

Teaming up with Citizens on Patrol, the school organized an impaired driving simulator for students last Wednesday (Mar. 8). 

ABJ set up pylons, stop signs, and stuffed animals in their gym to create an obstacle course. The students were then asked to safely navigate the course in a pedal kart while wearing vision-altering goggles to mimic what it would be like to be driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Michael Di Massa, the communications coordinator with Elk Island Catholic Schools, said that the students had a lot of fun with the simulation.

"A lot of students [who didn't participate] stopped and looked at what was going on," said Di Massa. "[This activity] piqued their interest."

Another simulation is scheduled for this Wednesday (Mar. 15), and assistant principal Fiona Wimmer believes that the fun of the obstacle course will help spread awareness of the dangers of impaired driving.

“We have young drivers, we care about our kids, and a part of caring for them is showing them the boundaries, how to be safe, and the risks," said Wimmer. "There are risks with impaired driving whether you are the passenger or the driver." 

The activity holds a lot of importance for the school, as they continue to heal from an impaired driving incident that involved an ABJ student. 

"A number of years ago, we had a student who passed away after being hit by a drunk driver, and so this impacts our Archbishop community deeply,” said Wimmer. “We don't want to have that situation ever again, and the more we can do to educate people, the better we feel about it.”

"This simulation activity could potentially save lives."

Impaired driving awareness is a part of ABJ's Career and Life Management courses for Grade 10.

This was the school's first year trying the optional program, and around 15 students participated.