New teen driving education course in Randolph County

RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Keeping teens behind the wheel safe is always a top priority year-round for the Randolph County Sheriff's Office.

But they're focused on it more than ever this time of year, as prom season is upon us.

"Serious collisions involving teen drivers and often times they're tragic," Randolph County Sheriff Robert Graves said.

This is what Graves and his deputies want to prevent at all cost.

Their new teen defensive driving program might be a solution.

"Not drinking and driving, we're going to talk about the rules of the road, we're going to talk about overall defensive driving," Graves said.

Graves said teenagers will be taught in 2015/2016 model squad cars by trained instructors with the sheriff's office.

He said the goal isn't to replace the driver's education program or teach how to drive like a cop.

Rather, to learn basic driving techniques beyond those taught at driver's education classes.

"If we can save one life it means everything," Graves said. "It's worth everything that we do."

The defensive training program is for one day, which will be held at the Randolph County Community College Emergency Services Training Facility.

The sheriff said teen drivers will get behind the wheel to learn how to park, avoid hitting cones and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Graves said learning what to do after an accident is also key in the learning process.

"Run off the road and trying to get it back on the road and under control," Graves said.

The driving course will only cost parents $20.

"If we train good defensive drivers, it may help us all because we might meet them on the highway some time," Graves said.

The course will take place on March 24 and deadline to apply is March 19.