Locals have been finding out just how difficult and dangerous driving can be through a driving simulator at the Mandel Public Library. The driving course is a computer-based program that teaches people to drive.
“It is meant to allow people to learn how to drive in a safe virtual environment for those that don’t have access to a vehicle,” Associate Librarian William Hollis said.
These days, many people take Uber or Lyft to get to their destinations, or they use city transportation, such as the bus. For people like Rita Rosenberg, who has not been behind the wheel herself in a while, the program is a good refresher.
“Forty years ago, I use to have my driver’s license in New York,” Rosenberg said. “You need a car here so that’s why I am doing it. This is preparing me to get my Florida driver’s license.”
For people who are over 15 years of age and do not have access to a vehicle, this is a perfect way for them to practice driving on real roads. It even has seat belts.
Some of the basic beginner lessons teach about road signs, how to accelerate and brake and appropriate steering techniques free of distractions. Once the drivers are confident after the beginner lesson, they can move on to more complex scenarios, such as distractions, night driving and rain.
“When I started a couple years ago, I was very nervous about it because I haven’t been driving for 40 years and I currently take the bus,” Rosenberg said.
Each session offers one hour of unlimited practice attempts. The course does not provide a driver’s license or statement of proof that the users are ready for a driver's license.
“It is mainly just to build skills. There is not a certificate, but what it will do is give you the tools to get ready,” Hollis said. “It has a bunch of different modules and this is just another avenue to practice and build your skills.”
This is the city’s second year to feature the driving simulator.
By Tete Teal, Bella Perez