Car crashes are the No. 1 killer among teens in the state, and one local watchdog group is hoping to do something to change that.
Safe Kids of East Central Georgia, based at the Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center, will offer a free program that aims to open the lines of communication between parents and their new teen drivers.
Parents Reducing Incidents of Driver Error, or P.R.I.D.E., is a two-hour program that was developed by the University of Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute. The statewide program helps establish a dialogue between parents and their teen before the 40 hours of supervised practice driving time, as required by law.
"This free program addresses driver attitude, knowledge and behavior of the parent and the new teen driver, as well as Georgia licensing laws," said Rene Hopkins, a registered nurse and coordinator of Safe Kids of East Central Georgia.
P.R.I.D.E. has been endorsed by the Georgia High School Association and the Georgia Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner.
The program is supported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia State Patrol, among others.
Although the program is free, the benefits are insurmountable. According to Hopkins, an average of 200 teens die each year on Georgia roads.
"This program addresses this unacceptable statistic with real-life information for parents and teens," she said.
Safe Kids volunteers will lead the program for ages 14-16 and their parents from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 20 at Wesley United Methodist Church on North Belair Road in Evans. The program is limited to the first 15 teens, so early registration is encouraged. To register, call (706) 721-7606.
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