Digital Desk

We’re virtually the worst drivers out there

What happens when you run a reporter through police training? Unscientific data shows they’ll fail the exam two out of three times — or at least that’s what happened earlier this week at Washington State Patrol headquarters in Vancouver.

On Tuesday, breaking news reporter Emily Gillespie, photographer Steve Lane and I stopped by WSP to see a driving simulator troopers use every other year to freshen up techniques. The thing is basically a big video game sitting in the back of a trailer that makes its way around the state to different WSP offices. (Check out Emily’s story on the simulator for more information or see a video I produced on the thing.)

To make a long story short, each of us was able to run through the simulator after Trooper Will Finn showed us how things were done. Emily lost control of her car in the middle of a turn and ran into a building. I slammed my car into oncoming traffic while trying to chase down a suspected DUI driver. Steve Lane handled it like a pro. In fact, he thinks he might have finished faster than Trooper Finn.

Here’s a quick video of my massive fail when running through the simulator. I’ll just end this by saying there are many good reasons why I’m not a cop. This is just one of them.

Paul Suarez

Paul Suarez is the web producer at The Columbian. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. Check out his work on YouTube.

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