Decatur High, Police team up for hands-on Teen Driver Safety Week

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DECATUR, Ala. - Police put teenagers behind the wheel for a hands-on lesson in safe driving habits.

For Teen Driver Safety Week, police and Decatur High School driver's education instructors reinforced the classroom studies with fun, but clear experiences.

"We had to put on goggles that made it seem like we were drunk or what it would be like if we were intoxicated," explained freshman Sarah Dees.

While wearing the goggles, the students attempted to walk a straight line and navigate a course while driving a golf cart.

It's part of the ongoing lessons to prevent driving under the influence and distracted driving, while promoting seatbelt use and awareness of laws.

"This gives them the opportunity to fail and see how and the situation could be with actually experiencing it, so I think it's a great opportunity for them in a safe and controlled environment," said driver's education teacher Kenny Morson.

During the second half of the week, officers will take the backseat for a ride along with the student drivers.

While the students laughed at their classmates as they ran over traffic cones, they also got the message.

"A lot of my classmates also hit quite a few cones and to put that in perspective of that being a person or another car, that's really scary," said Dees.

Car crashes are the leading cause of deaths for teens, and officer and instructors say hopefully this week's fun becomes a lifelong lesson.

In addition to the lessons, Decatur High students will also compete in a meme competition to come up with a technological, fun way to display what they've learned, and those messages will go up around town.