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Madison County Sheriff’s Office offers distracted driving training courses to students

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – School Resource Officers with the Madison County Sheriff`s Office are making sure teens stay safe this summer by offering distracted driving classes to students.

The program is hands-on and during the class, students run into real-life scenarios.

Most people may think of drugs and alcohol as the greatest danger to drivers on the road, but AAA says the greatest danger doesn't come from a bottle. It comes from a cellphone.

Distracting driving tops the list. "It`s not only texting, it`s looking at your phone and trying to scroll and find a number for somebody. It's also social media,"  Lt. Donny Shaw explained.

According to AAA, 49 percent of drivers report recently talking on a phone while driving and nearly 35 percent have sent a text or email. Despite that behavior, 58 percent of people say talking on the cell phone while driving is dangerous, while 78 percent say texting and emailing is just as dangerous.

The Madison County Sheriff`s office is trying to stop drivers at a young age from being distracted behind the wheel.

"We have a distracted driver program that is actually hands on. They have different scenarios inside the vehicle and drive through a cone obstacle course," Lt. Shaw explained.

Lt. Donny Shaw said the SROs put stressors on the students while driving. The goal is to not hit the cones.

"That puts them in a real-life situation that is controlled and nobody gets hurt as oppose to getting out here on their own and getting distracted," Lt. Shaw said.

Lt. Shaw said the program explains to students if something can happen in a controlled environment, it can happen out on the streets. The goal is to prevent a tragedy before it happens.

The sheriff's office will offer more classes this summer. Click here to learn more.