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Help Your Teen Driver Make it to Adulthood

The Sonoma Police Department's "Alive at 25" program is designed to teach young drivers - who are at the greatest risk for fatal accidents - the skills they need to be defensive drivers.

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.

Bill Wade May 12, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Concerned about teen driving? Check out Street Survival (www.streetsurvival.org) The non-profit Street Survival® school has always been a "hands on" program and it is designed to go beyond the typical high school driver's education program. The program teaches students to avoid accidents by thinking and looking ahead. Street Survival® is unique in that it offers students instruction in their own cars so that they learn the limitations of their 'daily drivers' and that information is transferred immediately to what they drive every day, whether it’s a new Accord, pick-up truck, 5 year old Minivan, or the hand-me –down 15 year old Volvo station wagon. The schools are facilitated by chapters of the BMW Car Club of America, the Sports Car Club of America, Porsche Club and other car clubs where a trained instructor base can be utilized. We will do 100 schools this year all over the United States. Most of us are aware of the carnage that occurs on American highways and good driver education will help reduce accidents. With your support and help, the goal of the Tire Rack Street Survival® program will help make our teenager’s safer drivers and our roads a safer place to be for all of us. Thank you, Bill Wade, National Program Manager, bill.wade@streetsurvival.org

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