A new program aimed at making our roadways safe is coming to the wiregrass.
It's called "C.A.T." or collision avoidance training. It's is a team effort designed for a single goal.
“The goal of the program is to save lives, the bottom line is to save lives,” said Justin Mitchell, Deputy Garrison Commander at Fort Rucker.
Officials hope to accomplish that goal by educating inexperienced drivers on how to avoid a crash.
“If you compare this program to driver's education, this is a graduate level program,” said Paul Burris with the National Traffic Safety Academy.
“We're not teaching kids to drive; we're actually going to be teaching these kids new skills,”
He says his desire to keep kids safe, is personal.
“In 1992, our only son was killed in an automobile crash. I just heard my son say, ‘dad, something's got to be done,’ and that's what got me started in this crusade,”
Burris believes people need to start taking responsibility for their mistakes while driving.
“Accident is a word that we came up with many, many years ago as adults so that when our carelessness behind the wheel destroyed someone's property or injured someone, we didn't feel so guilty. There are crashes, there are collisions, and there are wrecks, call them anything you want to, but don't call them an accident,” said Burris.
The Dale County Sheriff's Office, Ozark Kiwanis Club, and Fort Rucker are all helping out with the cause.
“Anything we can do to protect the future of our children, I’m going to be on board with that,” said Sheriff Wally Olson.
“It was interesting when we surveyed our employees at Fort Rucker, that they said the most dangerous thing they said they do on a day-to-day basis was driving to and from work,” said Mitchell.
Burris hopes his work helps keep the memory of his son alive.
“I think Greg would be proud of what we're doing,”
Right now, local law enforcement officers are being trained on how to conduct the class.
The class will be offered in a few weeks in Dothan, troy, and Ozark.
For more information, log onto www.trafficsafety.net.