The statistics are grim. In the United States, 31 drivers and passengers between the ages of 16 and 24 die every day in a vehicle crash. Sonoma County has the highest rate in California of collisions for this cohort.
"If they make it to 25, it really gets a lot safer for them," said Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett.
To combat the dangers of reckless and distracted driving, the Sonoma Police Department is partnering with the Santa Rosa JC Saturday, May 14, to offer "Alive at 25" a defensive driving program for young adults.
Pioneered in Colorado, officials credit the program with reducing the state's teen accident rate by 55 percent over the 10-years the program's been offered.
"It really is about teaching kids about smart driving and the risks of having a license," said Sacket, who is also the father of a teenage driver.
Endorsed by the Sonoma County Courts, the classes will be taught by law enforcement professionals to help young drivers in this at-risk age-bracket engage in the critical thinking skills necessary to understand the dangers of getting behind the wheel.
If you love a teenage driver, give them some tough-love by signing them up. It's a good way to make sure they're around for years to come.
"Alive at 25: Decisions for Life" meets Saturday, May 15, 9a.m.-1:30p.m. at the Sonoma Police Department, 175 First Street West. The class costs $40 and is limited to 25 participants. To register, call the at (707) 996 - 3602 or email Darcy Proctor by Thursday, May 12.
In addition, the Police Department is offering a "Responsible Beverage Service" training, to help bartenders and restaurant owners - who man the front lines of proper alcohol consumption - preempt drunk driving by keeping a close eye on their clientele. The class will meet May 25, 6-8p.m.. Register by calling the at (707) 996 - 3602.