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Warner Robins police educate teen drivers and their parents | News

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Warner Robins police educate teen drivers and their parents
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The state requires teens to take driver education courses, before hitting the streets.

Warner Robins police say parents may need to brush-up on rules for their teen driver, too.

They're offering a free course that puts teens, parents and police on the same road to safe travels.

15-year-old Kyle Maas can't get far alone with this license he has in his wallet. It's just a learner's permit that requires his mom to ride along.

He said, "Sometimes the whole week, I'll drive anywhere we need to get to."

He's getting in the hours of practice Officer Chris Fussell with the Warner Robins Police, says he'll need to avoid blue lights in the rear view.

He described teens' reactions when he approaches their window after pulling them over for a traffic violation.

Fussell said, "Just a surprised look on their face. 'What are you stopping me for?'"

He says with teens it's often running a stop sign, speeding or not abiding by the rules of Georgia's graduated license system.

Fussell said, "It's against the law for a teen driver to operate a cell phone at all, while driving a motor vehicle, whether texting or talking on the phone."

He says part of the problem is that parents don't know the rules either.

For example, parents may not know that for the first six months their teen has a drivers license, there can only be one passenger in the car, and it has to be an immediate family member.

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Sgt. Randy Evans with the Warner Robins Police said, "The second six months, one occupant. Then after the first year, they can have three passengers. A lot of parents they're not aware of that."

It's for those sorts of reasons that Warner Robins Police want teens and parents to come to their PRIDE class.

It stands for Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error.

Fussell said, "It helps our teens cut down on the number of injuries or fatalities with a teen driver."

Kyle Maas says he's open to advice, with some close calls under his belt and an anxious reaction from mom.

He said, "She was like, 'Slow down!'"

Of course, he's got another ten months of practice, before he maneuvers the roads alone.

The PRIDE class will be held Thursday April 3rd at the Warner Robins Campus of Middle Georgia State College.

Its from 6:30 p.m. to 8-30 p.m. Registration is free.

Call Officer Fussell at 478-293-1062 for more information or email him at cfussell@wrga.gov.

Sgt. Randy Evans says some insurance companies will give teen drivers a discount for completing the PRIDE class.

In 2011, Evans said 167 Georgia teens died in auto accidents, 58-percent of them were not wearing seat belts. He said two out of three of the crash victims were males.


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