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For More Information Contact:
Capt. David Jude
(502) 782-1780

High School Students Train To Save Lives On Kentucky Roadways

Date of Release: 10/17/05

(Frankfort, KY)--- Twenty-three students from 18 high schools throughout the state are learning safe driving techniques this week courtesy of the Kentucky State Police. As part of the third annual "Drive To Stay Alive" program, which runs from Oct. 16 through Oct. 20, the students are participating in classroom exercises at KSP headquarters in Frankfort and hands-on driving instruction at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. Their goal is to save lives on Kentucky's roadways.

"Nationally, teen age driving fatalities are reaching epidemic levels," says Kentucky State Police Commissioner Mark Miller, citing statistics from the National Safety Council. "Nearly one out of every five traffic fatalities involves a driver between 16 and 20 years of age."

"Through October 16, Kentucky has recorded 77 teenage traffic fatalities in 2005," he adds. "Forty-eight of those fatalities were not wearing seat belts and 13 were alcohol related."

The "Drive To Stay Alive" program is designed to combat these statistics explains KSP Lt. 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 operate a vehicle using 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 Miller, the real potential of the "Drive To Stay Alive" program begins after the students complete the course and return to their individual 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 student with the most effective program will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

"These young men and women have a unique opportunity to influence driving behaviors and save lives on Kentucky's highways," says Miller. "It's a very noble goal that will require thought and activity on their part, but it's worth the effort if they save even one life. It could be their own, their best friend, a neighbor or a family member."

The "Drive To Stay Alive" program concludes on Thursday Oct. 20 with graduation activities and a news conference at Kentucky State Police headquarters in Frankfort beginning at 1:00 P.M. EDT.

The students participating in the "Drive To Stay Alive" program include:

Contact Information for the Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police
919 Versailles Road | Frankfort, KY 40601

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