Police officers in Indiana have started a program aimed at teaching teenagers how to better navigate the road. The program, called ‘Rule the Roads’ pairs teenagers with licenses and permits with police officers who then teach them “hands-on driving” on the runway at Freeman Municipal Airport in Seymour, Indiana. “What we want to do is supplement where driver’s ed left off and we want to teach them hands-on driving,” said Seymour police captain Carl Lamb. Approximately 35 students participated in the event, during which they took a series of driving tests including a driving simulator mimicking distractions from friends, a driving obstacle course, and even a demonstration from a truck driver about the dangers of blind spots. Several other challenges during the event included a controlled skid car, a dirt and grass road course, and a reaction test, reported Fox 59 News.
“The skidding was definitely scary, said Seymour sophomore Gavyn Stagnolia, who just received his learner’s permit. “You feel like you aren’t in control at all because you really aren’t.” Seymour Police say that accidents involving teen drivers in the area dropped 33% in the first year of the program and has continued to drop annually for the last five years. “When you hear it from police officers and you get to actually drive police cars through the courses, you have a better idea of how to deal with it in the future,” Lamb said. The department is looking to hold Rule the Road Twice a year instead of only annually and nearby departments are even looking into starting their own version of the program in surrounding communities.