Police: Parents, teach your kids how to drive - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police: Parents, teach your kids how to drive

May 23, 2007

Albany - - Did you know nearly 200 Georgia teenagers die in traffic crashes every year? It's the number one cause of death for teens.

Now, state safety advocates are asking you, "Isn't protecting your teenager's life worth a couple of hours of your time?"

We all know when you hit the road, you're not just looking out for yourself.

"Look out for the other people driving that's the scariest part," says Ariel Winter who just got her learner's permit.

She loves to drive.

"Yeah its pretty easy."

She can't drive on her own yet, and mom makes sure she's sitting close by.

"You're doing good. Back up a little bit more, back up a little more. There you go," her mom says while sitting in the passenger's seat.

State officers want more parents like her.

Wednesday, Dougherty County Police offered its first ever PRIDE Course. That's Parents Reducing Incidents of Driver Error.

"This is all new to them. They've never done it before. Parents, were pros at it we think because we've done it for so many years now. The problem is were not trained on how to train someone else," says Lt. Tom Jackson.

So they're training parents to train kids how to drive. The teens get to rank their parents on how well they drive. Parents then have to brush up on their skills to be a better driver for their kids.

Winter can't wait to try it alone.

"I like it. I enjoy it. I'm ready to drive on my own."

But for now, she'll keep getting instructions from that all too familiar voice.

"There ya go. Perfect, you did great," her mom says as she pulls into the driveway.

Experts say teens are often involved in crashes from simple things like switching radio stations while driving, or talking on a cell phone, and of course speeding. All of these things, officers say can be easily avoided if you just pay attention the road.

This is the first time Dougherty County Police offered the PRIDE driving course. Because of heavy interest, they're scheduling five more courses. The next one will take place next Wednesday. The courses are free.

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