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Take txt n drving test: R u safe?

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Take txt n drving test: R u safe?

The staff of TSM Insurance – an Allied Insurance agency – will host a special “Time2Drive” booth at this weekend’s Crossroads Street Faire geared towards preventing drivers from texting while behin...

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED April 5, 2013 2:32 a.m.

There’s no doubt that distracted driving can have disastrous results.

But thanks to a program being offered Saturday and Sunday at the Crossroads Street Faire in downtown Manteca by TSM and Allied Insurance, people will get the chance to see exactly how dangerous it can be.

In front of TSM’s Maple Avenue office starting on Saturday morning, those curious about how much they actually lose in terms of functionality when they respond back to that text or email will get their chance to learn firsthand in a state-of-the-art simulator.

The project, which is being overseen by TSM’s Personal Lines Manager Velma Farinha, will run both days during the festival.

“The message that we’re trying to get across to people is that it really can wait – you don’t have to respond to that text right away,” Farinha said. “This is the first time that we’ve done this so we’re anxious to see what the results are going to be as well.”

And while the event seems like it might be geared towards teens – the “Time2Drive” program, in its entirety, is intended for new drivers and those who are just getting behind the wheel on their own for the first time – Farinha said that the simulator is something that anybody and everybody can use.

What teens face behind the wheel, however, extends beyond just whether they respond to the text messages from their friends.

Learning how to properly drive at night, how to obey the speed limit and how to take responsibility enough not to climb behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking are all things that are thrown at new drivers as soon as they hit the road.

Throw in a cell phone capable of emailing and telling you up-to-the-minute movie information and the recipe for a disaster is clearly evident.

Hopefully, Farinha said, somebody will see the simulator in action over the weekend and it will get them to think twice regardless of their age.

“The whole idea behind it is to promote awareness and to try and get people to see how much it impacts their driving,” she said. “We all, especially when we’re young, think ‘that’s never going to happen to me.’ And then it does.

“Hopefully just being out there will get somebody to stop and watch and they’ll get the message.”

Copies of parent and teen driving agreements – “Lets make a driving deal” forms – will also be available for parents to look over and sign with their children to lay ground rules and promote mutual understanding.

TSM Insurance is located at 117 N. Maple Avenue, and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The simulator booth will be available during the hours of the street faire on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (209) 823-7151.

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