Teens invited to defensive driving course

Published 8:51 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In an effort to make the streets of Troy a bit safer to drive on, the Troy Police Department will be offering a Collision Avoidance Training (C.A.T.) program.

The C.A.T. program, a defensive driving program geared toward teen drivers with a valid driver’s license, is slated to begin the weekend of March 11-12 and will be taught at the police department.

The program targets safety awareness when on the road, especially while driving in adverse conditions.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sgt. Benny Scarbrough, public information officer for the TPD, says the program is offered annually and focuses on teaching teens to, at least, have a working knowledge of the vehicles they drive.

“This is a two-day program, where, on the first day, we’ll offer a class on vehicle safety in the municipal courtroom and the next day will last just as long because of an actual course the teens will have to drive,” Scarbrough said.

The classroom-style atmosphere on the first day, according to Scarbrough, is conducive for ideal learning of the dangers of driving and the importance of maintaining proper care of your vehicle and helps to adequately prepare the teen students for the practical application on the road course the following day.

“We teach students the importance of truly understanding their vehicle,” Scarbrough said. “We especially teach them proper stopping techniques and how to maneuver the vehicle, which, in turn, gets the students ready for the next phase of our program.”

Scarbrough understands that some teens may already feel as though they have a good concept of how a vehicle works, but throughout the years he’s noticed that many teens do not seem to have a decent working knowledge of how their vehicles operate.

“One of the first things we do is to ask them to inspect their cars,” Scarbrough said. “It gets interesting when you ask them to do something as simple as check their oil, transmission fluid, or any other kind of fluid levels that’s instrumental for maintaining proper care of their vehicles.”

Scarbrough equated proper vehicular maintenance with taking care of yourself, saying that, like your body, your vehicle functions better when properly taken care of.

“One of the biggest parts of our program is teaching teens to understand the importance of proper vehicle maintenance,” Scarbrough said.

Scarbrough encourages teens to sign up for the program, stressing the need to be informed of the dangers that do exist when driving or from not taking adequate care of your vehicle.

“We just want to instill in all of our young teen drivers the need to take advantage of this course,” Scarbrough said.

The cost of the course is $25 and the only requirements are that students have a valid driver’s license and insurance on the vehicle they will be using for the driving portion of the program.

All candidates must contact Scarbrough or Detective Michael O’Hara at 566-0500 to sign up for the class.