Albany has latest tool to test, train drivers -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany has latest tool to test, train drivers

It helps make sure workers, who may drive big expensive vehicles such as a fire trucks and city buses, can do their job safely.

Albany City Transit Route Supervisor Tim Bryant has been driving and supervising city bus drivers in Albany for years, but he admits the new Doron Driving Simulators tests can really test your skills behind the wheel.

"Yeah, that guy on the bicycle," said Bryant.

In the past, trainees had to get behind the wheel of real fire truck or buses, to see how they do. Now Albany's new driving simulators put employees behind a very realistic wheel, with all the look and sounds of the road, to safely test their instincts and reaction times without chance of harm.

 "We can bring on coming traffic. We can put obstacles in the road, and see how they maneuver around them. And it's basically testing their instinct on how they react to real life situations," said Albany Fire Department Training Assistant Chief Rubin Jordan.

There is also a more passenger car feeling vehicle, that simulates police cars or a regular vehicle.

 "It does work, and it works on your habits. Works on your driving down the street and gathering all the information that you can by looking, by scanning, analyzing intersections an applying all the information so that you miss things that normally you might not have seen,"  said Doron Corporation Consultant Russ Bolton.

After a couple of tries, instructors say they can see a lot of improvement in the students. And that is the idea, to train and improve the city's drivers, to prevent crashes and save lives.  

The simulators cost about $300,000, half of which was paid for by a federal grant. Albany is the first city in Georgia to have both simulators. All the city's police, fire truck drivers, and city transit drivers will train on the simulators in the coming months.

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