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Suwanee police offer driver education class

SUWANEE - The Suwanee Police Department has one question for the parents of new teen drivers: Is your child's life worth two hours?

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Georgia teens, and Suwanee police, in conjunction with the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute, hope to raise awareness by offering a parent and teen driver education class from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Suwanee Crossroads Center.

Department spokesman Sgt. Elias Casanas said the goal is to help reinforce driver responsibility for teens while helping parents transition with the least amount of fear and worry.

"This is a new and great experience for the kids," he said. "It means freedom, responsibility and accountability. It is a win-win situation for everyone. We care about families."

The class, open and free to Suwanee residents, is part of a statewide program called Georgia Teens Ride with PRIDE (Parents Reducing Incidents of Driver Error).

Unlike a driver's training course, the purpose of this class is to make drivers, young and old, aware of their driving behaviors, to help teens become more confident behind the wheel and help create better, safer drivers.

Casanas said some young drivers akin driving to playing video games, when the reality is that one mistake could prove fatal.

"We are talking about 4,000 pounds of metal that cannot stop on a dime, or take curves at 80 miles per hour," he said. "They do not have the experience just yet. It comes with practice."

Teens participating in the course must be accompanied by an adult during the entire two-hour course.

To register, visit www.suwanee.com and download an application from the Hot Links section. Casanas said space is very limited but that the department tries to hold a class at least every other month.

For more information, call Casanas at 770-945-4607, ext. 327 or e-mail him at elias@suwanee.com.