Parents risk life for teen's freedom

Cars driving along Slappey Blvd. / Jessica Fairley

As summer approaches and students are no longer in school, many of them will seek independence by getting their driver's license.

However before passing the test, someone has to teach them.

For many, the old fashioned way of learning to drive is hopping in the car with a friend and taking a chance that no one will be injured. But as teens are more and more distracted by technology, officials say parents have to be proactive.

"It's a good thing for parents to take an active role in their teenagers driving habits that way they can project onto them good driving habits and good driving tips and skills that they've learned through their age and experience," says Russell Snow, Safety Investigator for Albany Risk Management.

For those parents who are afraid to ride shotgun with a minor, there are classes with instructors who will gladly put their life on the line.

Albany tech offers such courses.

"The course covers the basics of driving, how to operate the vehicle, the responsibility behind the wheel of the car," says Matt Trice, Albany Tech Vice President of Economic Development Programs.

Students get safety tips and on-the-road driving experience.

Officials with AAA say integrated courses with a structured lesson plan and behind-the-wheel training are ideal for beginners. They also say parents should make sure driving courses follow state laws.

"Joshua's Law, the state of Georgia law, requires folks getting a new drivers license, young people getting a new drivers license, to meet certain requirements before they can go take their drivers test and receive a drivers license," says Matt Trice.

Not only will providing students with training save parents a headache, it may also save them some cash.

"Most insurance companies provide a 10 percent discount if your child takes drivers education," says Matt Trice.

Albany Tech's summer driving course starts in June. For prices, contact Albany Technical College at (229) 430-3500.

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