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Sheriff's special message for new drivers

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Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond (left) leads a group of students through a lesson in what not to do if they were pulled over by police. WRCBtv.com photo Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond (left) leads a group of students through a lesson in what not to do if they were pulled over by police. WRCBtv.com photo
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

One of the most exciting parts of being a teenager is earning the privilege to drive. 

"I've been wanting my license for a long time because that shows I'm growing up a little bit, so I've been wanting my license for a long time. I started driving, I drive to church by myself. I drove to school one time by myself. I was just so excited!" Chattanooga's School of Arts and Sciences Sophomore Destiny Kennebrew said.

It's easy to relate to Destiny's excitement but with that comes the danger of inexperience.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says teenagers are most likely to be involved in a crash the first 30-60 days they're behind the wheel.

"This is a lethal weapon, a car when you're driving in it. You have to respect it and you have to know it's not about fun and games," he said.

Using a hands-on approach, Hammond broke down how traffic stops are made for CSAS students during an assembly and highlighted the importance of acting appropriate when being pulled over. 

"We want them to have the right information and understand this is a serious business and it's in a neutral setting where we are coming to them instead of pulling them over on the side of the street," he added.

It's part of HCSO's School Law Enforcement Actively Working in Schools Program (or LAWS) designed to increase law enforcement's presence in schools and make new drivers like Destiny more aware.

"I didn't know the man, like he stands on the other side of the car. I didn't know he did that. I knew there was two of them but I thought just one of them stayed in the car and one just got out. I didn't know both of them be like that," Kennebrew said.

This is the 10th HCSO School LAWS Program Hammond has held since he started the initiative in 2016.

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