ODOT To Test Drivers Abilities While Distracted

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The Ohio Department of Transportation is offering a different kind of ride to fairgoers in Belmont County next week. 

ODOT will have a distracted driver simulator at the Belmont County Fair as part of its "Every Move You Make, Keep It Safe" campaign.
ODOT Deputy Director Lloyd McAdams says drivers can choose to simulate a drive sober or as if under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
From there, McAdams says drivers will receive text messages on their cell phone which they must attempt to reply to, usually with bad results.  
"We actually have some recorded messages from policemen as they arrest you, and then they take you and impound your vehicle and you're actually sitting before a judge. It simulates all that," said McAdams.
Starting Friday, it's illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a mobile device while driving in Ohio.
McAdams says the goal is to promote the new law and safe driving.
"It's a very realistic thing. We think this is important because of the new texting ban that goes into effect today," said McAdams.
The ban includes texting, emailing, cell phone, video games, and handheld GPS.
The law could also cause trouble for adults as well.
"For those kids under the age of 18, it actually is a primary offense. In other words, they could be pulled over for that offense. Adults, it's a secondary offense. In other words, you'd have to be speeding or something else and then be pulled over and they may notice you might be texting then," said McAdams.
The restrictions also apply to drivers when stopped at a light or in a traffic jam.
ODOT hopes to reduce roadway fatalities five percent by 2015, which would save 150 lives.
The distracted driver simulator will be on exhibit between noon and 8:30 p.m. during the fair.