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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780

New KSP Training Program Targets Teen Driving Skills

An image of Drive to Stay Alive(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -Twenty-three students representing 21 high schools throughout the commonwealth will check into the Kentucky State Police Academy in Frankfort on Monday Sept. 15 between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. for five days of classroom and hands-on driving instruction designed to decrease teenage driving deaths. Classes will begin at 10:00 a.m.

The students will be participating in the "Drive To Stay Alive" program, an innovative effort by the Kentucky State Police that targets counties with high teen traffic crash and fatality rates.

"Tragically, in 2002, there were 29,893 motor vehicle collisions involving drivers aged 16-18 in Kentucky," says KSP Commissioner Patrick N. Simpson. "This represents 21 percent of all collisions in the state during this time period. The "Drive To Stay Alive" program is specifically designed to have an impact on this problem."

During the week of training, the students will be taught by Kentucky State Police-certified driving instructors to help recognize the most common factors leading to fatal crashes. The curriculum features topics such as vehicle dynamics and skid control, safety belts and airbags, impaired driving, off-road recovery, evasive maneuver, controlled braking, multiple turns and lane interchange. It also includes three days of hands-on instruction in actual motor vehicle skills at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

NASCAR Busch Series driver Jamie Mosley, a London, Ky. native, will join the students, instructors, KSP representatives and track officials for a press conference at the 1.5-mile, tri-oval speedway on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 9:00 a.m.

According to Lt. Col. Rodney Brewer, Commander of the KSP Division of Police Services, the real benefits of the program begin after the students complete the course and return to their individual schools. "The students will partner with an experienced Kentucky State Police trooper to spread the message to the student body in each school," he notes. "The real value of the program is based on the concept that a message conveyed by a fellow student carries a more personal tone with other students and is therefore more effective."

The students selected for the program represent schools located in Anderson, Bourbon, Boyd, Bullitt, Calloway, Carroll, Clay, Hardin, Henry, Knox, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Scott, Taylor Trimble, and Wayne counties.

Brewer pointed out that 19 percent of all fatal collisions in the state during 2002 involved teenage drivers and 58.1 percent of the teenage highway fatalities in the counties targeted for the Drive to Stay Alive program were not restrained.

"This program provides practical instruction that will enhance the skills and sensitivities of Kentucky's teen drivers," Brewer says. "Once it spreads throughout the school system, the benefits should certainly pay off in reduced teen crashes and more lives saved."

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