Williamson County Schools mandate distracted driving class for students

Photo: WKRN

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – After a number of fatal wrecks involving students, Williamson County Schools are mandating new distracted driving education before high school age drivers receive parking passes.

Beginning this fall, all new student drivers and their parents will be required to take a one hour class covering distracted driving.

Deputy Brian Bean patrols the hallways and keeps students safe. Soon, some deputies like Bean will be teaching the distracted driving course to students who drive to school.

Deputy Brian Bean (Photo: WKRN)

“Over the last year we’ve had several students from the school system die in vehicle-related accidents,” Captain Mark Wainwright said.

Capt. Wainwright said he sees various forms of distracted driving, including texting, every day.

“You can be driving down the road and have to swerve because someone next to you is messing with their phone and they swerve into your lane because they are distracted,” he said.

Wainwright told News 2 he was part of the task force designed to reduce fatalities and educate students on the dangers of distracted driving.

Captain Mark Wainwright (Photo: WKRN)

“Dr. [Mike] Looney put together a task force and we met over several months and come up with the plan to put a program in place where we could have them go through a class before they could buy a permit from the school system to park their vehicles. In essence, every child parking on the school grounds will have gone through that program before they get that permit because we are trying to get through to the entire student body to put that phone down [and] don’t be distracted when you are driving on the roadway,” Wainwright explained.

Students who already have their licenses and who have been parking at school will not have to take the course, but they will have to sign a social contract with their parents stating they understand the dangers of distracted driving.

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