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Bensalem Cops Host Distracted-Driving Challenge

(A teen driver gets ready to try the distracted driving challenge course.  Photo provided)

(A teen driver gets ready to try the distracted driving challenge course. Photo provided)

wing_dan DL Dan Wing
 Dan Wing is a news anchor and reporter for KYW Newsradio...
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By Dan Wing

BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — A local police department and a national insurance company put teens and parents to the test this afternoon in Bucks County, as part of the National Safe Driving Challenge.

The goal was to give both groups a taste of distracted driving.

Both teens and parents had few problems navigating the obstacle course in the Neshaminy Mall parking lot when not being distracted, but as soon as the distractions were added, a lot of traffic cones and other course obstacles were getting crushed.

The goal, according to a spokesman for Allstate Insurance, is to give teens and parents the experience of driving while distracted — and not just by electronics.  Drivers were also forced to ride along with rowdy passengers who moved the sun visors and rearview mirror, or chatted incessantly.  At times the driver would receive an unexpected phone call (thanks to some advance work by the organizers) and be forced to answer complicated questions while driving.

Then, there was the ultimate distraction.

(Sound of police siren)

State representative Kathy Watson, who pushed safe-driver laws here in Pennsylvania, says the event is a great learning tool because laws can only do so much to protect a teen driver.

“Regardless how many laws there are, sometimes it’s just common sense,” she says.

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