Lee Co. to present PRIDE - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. to present PRIDE

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Organizers of a safe driving program hope more teens will take part after a shocking crash Sunday in Lee County that killed two teenagers and a young father. Next week, Leesburg Police will train to teach PRIDE: Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error.

The two-hour course for parents and their 14 to 16 year olds aims to change the attitudes of teen drivers to keep them safe.

It's the worst part of a law enforcers job and it happened this week in Lee County. "It's a sad day when you have to go to parent and tell them their child was killed in a car wreck," said Leesburg Police Sgt. James Vick.

That's why Leesburg Police have put the wheels in motion to start a new driver's training program called PRIDE for both parents and new teen drivers.  "Teaching kids to drive is hard enough, I'm going though it with my 15 year old daughter," Vick said.

What this class is going to do is give parents the knowledge and skills to help them. Help them talk to their teen drivers about the laws of the road and their attitude behind the wheel.

"The big word is responsibility, they're not responsible right now. The only thing they think about is fun, so when they get behind the wheel, they're not thinking about the responsibility of their lives their passenger's lives, they're thinking about the fun they're going to have," said Sgt. Jason Anthony, Lee Co. High School Resource Officer.

While the freedom can be fun, police say it also must have rules. "Talking with their parents and having their parents to be strict with them about who they have in the vehicle, how long they can drive, give them a curfew," said Anthony.

Teens realize there can be a lot of distractions.  "Some people play music too loud and they get distracted and even though the law says no texting and driving some people still do that," said Ansley Crews, a teen driver.

That's why police want to make sure teens understand the consequences.  "If we can put that little bit of fear in the kids and the parents that this does happen on a daily basis then maybe they'll think next time," Vick said.

Think about their attitude when they get behind the wheel.

Leesburg Police plan to start the program after the officers are trained next week. Police hope to off the two hour class free of charge for first time drivers ages 14 to 16. You can contact the Leesburg Police Department for more information about P.R.I.D.E.


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