New attempts made to educate drivers on dangers of distracted driving

As concern over distracted driving—driving while texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, or engaging in any other activity that diverts a driver’s attention—continues to grow, law enforcement agencies have taken to holding educational presentations aimed at encouraging drivers to stay focused on the road. The Madison County’s Sheriff’s Office will be offering such sessions over the summer in the form of free, one-day courses available to high school students.

In addition to discussing the legal ramifications of distracted driving, the program will address traffic stops and Alabama laws governing DUI and seat belt use.

The program consists of a PowerPoint presentation followed by a hands-on session on a closed course. Deputies will ride with students in the ATV-like Polaris Ranger and simulate different distracted driving scenarios, such as texting and reaching into the back seat. Deputies will also observe students’ real-life driving habits and provide feedback.

Apart from the primary aim of teaching new drivers how better to drive safely, Sheriff Blake Dorning noted that the program’s significance is magnified by lawmakers’ ongoing concern over distracted driving, and the consequent increase in regulatory provisions restricting such activities as texting while driving.

The program runs between June 18 and July 16 at several Madison County high schools. For a full listing of dates and locations, see the article here.