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Captain Eric Walker Governor's Highway Safety Program
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Kentucky State Police Training Helps Teens To "Drive To Stay Alive"

Date of News Release: 09/25/2006

(Frankfort, KY)--- Thirty-three high school students from 25 schools throughout the state checked into the Kentucky State Police Academy in Frankfort yesterday. During the next three days, they'll be learning safe driving techniques from Kentucky State Police instructors as part of the fourth annual "Drive To Stay Alive" program, which runs from Sept. 24 through Sept. 27. Activities will include classroom exercises at KSP headquarters in Frankfort and hands-on driving instruction at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

"The goal of this program is to save lives on Kentucky's roadways," says Kentucky State Police Commissioner Jack Adams. "Nationally, teenagers represent one of the largest groups of highway fatalities. Nearly one out of every five traffic fatalities involves a driver between 16 and 20 years of age."

The "Drive To Stay Alive" program is designed to combat these statistics explains KSP Capt. Eric Walker, commander of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "The training includes subjects such as collision causation, vehicle dynamics and skid control, backing skills, multiple turns and lane interchange, safety belts and air bags, evasive maneuvers, off-road recovery, and controlled braking," he notes.

"The students will also get the chance to use Fatal Vision goggles, which simulate driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol," says Walker. "This is a real eye-opener that they'll remember for a lifetime."

According to Walker, the real potential of the "Drive To Stay Alive" program begins after the students return to their schools. "The students are teamed with an experienced state trooper to spread the message to the student body in each school and to their community as well," he says. "The effectiveness of the program is based on the concept that a message conveyed by a fellow student carries more weight with other students and is therefore more memorable."

The students will be evaluated and scored on the driving safety programs they present to their respective schools and communities. The students with the most effective programs are eligible for scholarship funds. Their schools will be rewarded as well.

"These students have a unique opportunity to make a real difference," says Adams. "They can help influence on-the-road driving behaviors and save lives on Kentucky's highways. It's a very worthwhile goal that will require dedication and effort on their part, but it's worth it if they save even one life. It could be their own, their best friend, a neighbor or a family member."

Students participating in the course represent the following schools: Betsy Lane High School, Burgin High School, Butler County High School, Calloway County High School, Casey County High School, Dixie Heights High School, Elizabethtown High School, Eminence High School, Grant County High School, Hart County High School, Knott County Central High School, Livingston Central High School, Menifee County High School, Middlesboro High School, Paul Blazer High School (Ashland), Paris High School, Perry County Central High School, Scott County High School, Shelby County High School, Somerset Christian School, South Laurel High School, Taylor County High School, Webster County High School, West Jessamine High School and Williamstown High School.

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