FORSYTH COUNTY — Safety is a priority to local law enforcement officials as the new school year gets under way. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office offers several programs aimed at keeping teenagers safe, whether behind the wheel or in school.
Here are some programs available for teens.
Sheriffs Telling Our Parents and Promoting Educated Drivers, or STOPPED, is a parental notification system launched in the county about 10 years ago, according to Robin Regan, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. It was developed by the Onondaga County, N.Y., Sheriff’s Office.
Teenagers who are signed up receive a sticker that has a corresponding number assigned to their vehicle. Stickers are affixed to the inside of the rear windshield and are recorded in a database connected to parent contact information for each teen driver.
If a vehicle is stopped and the driver is younger than 18, the parents associated with the sticker will be notified of the time and location of the stop, the driver’s name and number of passengers, the reason for the stop and whether a traffic citation was issued.
The program had about 200 people sign up over an eight-year period, Regan said, and Sheriff Duane Piper has aimed to revitalize participation since taking office by focusing outreach through school resources officers (SRO).
SROs now run sign-ups for the voluntary program, and there is no limit to the amount of people who can be involved.
“When dealing with a teenage driver, deputies typically contact parents anyway,” Regan said, “but this program gives parents additional peace of mind.”
For more information, contact Deputy Eric Johnson at (770) 781-2222 or email@example.com.
To register, download and fill out an application from forsythsheriff.org/s-t-o-p-p-e-d/ and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Needs Awareness of Public Safety, or SNAPS, has been running for about a year, launched to build positive relationships between public safety personnel and county residents with special needs.
“The concern was always that in the case of an emergency, people with special needs may be intimidated or afraid of police or fire or EMS personnel who are attempting to help them or render aid,” Regan said.
SNAPS works with every public safety department. Guest speakers talk each month, and attendees are able to interact on a personal level, participate in scenarios or just watch and become more acquainted with public safety personnel.
There is no limit to participation, and registration is not required. Anyone is welcome to simply show up to the free monthly meetings.
Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Public Safety Training Center, 3520 Settingdown Road.
For more information on SNAPS, contact Sonya Camarillo, community outreach specialist for the sheriff’s office, at (770) 781-2222, Ext. 3150, or email@example.com.
Parents Reducing Injuries and Driver Error, or PRIDE, is a supplement to a driver’s education course created by the Georgia Traffic Injury Prevention Institute and aimed for teenagers who are studying to get their learner’s permit.
Both parents and teenagers are invited to attend the free two-hour class. Registration is required.
Lessons are focused on education that leads to a reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities involving teen drivers in Georgia. Participants learn about safe driver attitudes, knowledge and behavior rather than technical hands-on driving education.
For example, they focus on seat belts, crash dynamics, Georgia’s teen driving laws, parental influence and peer pressure.
They also are taught what they will need to do while obtaining their learner’s permit.
For more information, visit forsythsheriff.org/programs-2/p-r-i-d-e/.