Teen safety focus of Suwanee course

SUWANEE -- In the gamut that is young adulthood, no activity results in more teen fatalities than driving.

Surprised? Suwanee police aren't.

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 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 11 at the Suwanee Police Department.

Parents should consider the program a two-hour investment in the safety of newly minted drivers, said Suwanee city spokeswoman Lynne DeWilde.

"(The program) can help provide teen drivers -- and their parents -- with fresh attitudes and more confidence behind the wheel," DeWilde said.

Across Georgia, 177 teens died in motor-vehicle crashes in 2006, according to the latest available Georgia Department of Transportation data.

Far more people -- 244 -- were killed in crashes involving teens that year.

The free, public class 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 program's purpose 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.

The registration deadline is Feb. 26. Teens participating in the class must be accompanied by an adult.

To register, visit www.suwanee.com and download an application from the Hot Links section. Organizers said class space is limited.

The police department is located at 373 Buford Highway in Suwanee.