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 can experience 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. Distracted driving tops the list.
The Madison County Sheriff`s office has offered the Distracted Driving Course since 2011. It's a one-day course, six hours long, where students are taught by school resource officers about the dangers of distracted driving. Then the students get to experience these distractions in a controlled scenario -- while they're actually driving.
"In one of the courses they have them texting on a mobile cell phone," said Madison County Sheriff's Office Lt. Donny Shaw. "Another one where there are two passengers with them and they're talking to each other, putting their hands up in front of [the driver]."
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," he said.
At the end of the course students are presented with a certificate, and will be better equipped to to drive less distracted.
The class is completely free, and there are 10 different dates throughout the summer for students in any school system to participate.
Participants must complete a form found at this link: http://www.madisoncountysheriffal.org/page.php?id=18