Police Host Class To Drive Down Teen Deaths

Posted at 3:46 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-11 16:46:18-04

It's the first class of its kind, created in response to the rash of teen deaths involving cars. Williamson County has been rocked by the deaths of six current and former Williamson County students since November.

It's not your typical driving class. Teen drivers get behind the wheel of a golf cart rather than a car, with Franklin Police riding shotgun.

"It's not a driving course to teach them how to drive," explained Officer Rachel Gober. "It's a course to show them good driving behaviors and start them off right." 

The county is still recovering from the crashes that claimed the lives of multiple teens.

"Any fatal in my roadway affects me but when I see it's a young person that has their whole life ahead of them it really hits home," Gober said. "Because I have to be that person that notifies the family."

This is the only place an officer will tell you to text and drive. Gober said it shows kids the impact of driving distracted. 

"We'd rather them hit a cone out here texting and driving rather than a pedestrian on the road," she said.

Students also test out goggles to simulate impairment, often known as "drunk goggles."

"Once they get into their junior, senior year of high school they're gonna be offered to go to prom parties, homecoming so we want to show them the importance of not getting behind that wheel if they make the decision to drink," Gober said. 

Officers blame everything from speed to distractions to horsing around for the six recent deaths, and hope the class helps drive home the weight of the responsibility of getting behind the wheel.

"Our goal is if we can change one students behavior we can save that person's life," Gober said.

The next class is May 6 from 8:30 to 3 p.m. Teens do not have to live in Williamson County to sign-up.  Click here to a link to the application.