News 12 First at Five / Monday, March 25, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Deputies say it's time to be proactive instead of reactive to keep the number of fatal teenage accidents dropping.
"Nationally, the deaths are up for young people and fatalities, but here in Richmond County, they are down," said Richmond County Traffic Division Lt. Ramone Lamkin.
Deputies want to keep it that way. That's why they're here at Westside High School educating young drivers about the dangers on the road.
"What you learn here could save your life," advised their teacher.
"It's going to make me more aware," said student Skyler Burgess.
With six fatal accidents in Richmond County so far this year, we're about equal with the number of deadly accidents at this time last year, but with the summer months approaching, deputies know it will only get worse.
"You're going to have all those holidays where people are drinking, so that's why in the summer months they kind of spike. So, we want to keep a curve on that," Lamkin said.
So far this year, Richmond County has had six fatal accidents. Aiken County has had seven. None were teenage deaths.
Jahirayton is about to be one of the newest drivers on the road.
"I get my permit in two weeks and three days," he said.
He says this class has made him more aware of the dangers behind the wheel.
"If you're not always alert, it can lead to death for someone else or yourself," he said.
Lamkin says classes like this will save lives.
"One of the key components here is education. What are the dangers? What can happen if you do this? What does the law say if you do this? It just kind of opens your eyes. If you know better, you're supposed to do better," Lamkin said.
"A lot of people really need to realize that some ignorant stuff really changes the lives of others," Burgess said.
Lamkin says the biggest cause of fatal accidents in Richmond County is driving under the influence. He also says distracted driving and speed are the other major factors.