DENMARK - Denmark High School senior Jeff Rukamp says he is a pretty good driver.
On Monday, he put his multi-tasking skills to the test.
"It's hard. Texting and driving is very hard," said Rukamp. "Looking down on my phone, and paying attention to the traffic. It was challenging."
Students could steer this simulator designed to track distracted drivers. A statewide ban on texting and driving went into affect two years ago.
"We need to keep the awareness going. You can tell someone once, twice, but they're going to forget it. We need to keep that message fresh for these students," said Maj. Sandra Huxtable, Wisconsin State Patrol.
It was part of a program sponsored by the Wisconsin State Patrol, AT&T, and AAA.
A sobering video documented real-life stories. Principal and parent Oran Nehls said the message hit home.
"I start thinking what would happen if I got that phone call, what would that be like. It just makes me feel awful," said Nehls.
And as students tried to text and drive, they had a chance to safely see what can happen.
"I actually thought it was pretty close to the real thing. Everything happened so fast. So I can see how people can text and drive, and get into accidents," said Bradley Klarkowski, senior.
"Whatever they're doing, if they're driving they need to leave the phone alone. The text can wait. By avoiding those distractions, they can save their life or someone else's," said Nehls.
The principal at Denmark High School says a survey showed almost all of the nearly 500 students carry cell phones. And almost half of those drive to school on a daily basis.
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