The ‘Drive to Stay Alive’ program teaches the students safe driving techniques by KSP instructors with hands-on road driving and classroom exercises, including the dangers of driving impaired, seat belt safety, distracted and aggressive driving.
Public Affairs Branch Commander Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard explained that the ‘Drive to Stay Alive’ program was designed not only to decrease teen crashes but to provide students with the tools to be advocates in their own schools.
“The training includes topics 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,” advises Saint-Blancard.
According to Saint-Blancard, 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 other students in each school and within 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 DTSA students are evaluated and scored on the safe driving programs they present in their respective schools and communities. The students with the most effective programs, resulting in increased seat belt usage, are eligible for scholarship funds.
The DTSA program is funded through KSP and a grant from State Farm Insurance Company.
In 2011, there were 21,350 teen driving collisions resulting in 4,152 injuries and 63 deaths in Kentucky.
“The goal of this program is to save lives and especially those of our teenagers,” says KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. “Our youth are the future of the Commonwealth and if we can get them to buy-in to this program – becoming advocates for safe driving – It will save lives.”
Commissioner Brewer believes the ‘Drive To Stay Alive’ program will have a lasting effect on the students who graduate the program.
“We have given them great opportunities this week and have challenged their driving capabilities,” says Brewer. “They have met people during this program who have shared stories that will stay with them for a lifetime.”
For more information about the ‘Drive To Stay Alive’ program or how your school can get involved, please contact the KSP Public Affairs Branch at (502) 782-1780.
Attached photo shows students who participated : Top Row Luke Kennison, Scott High; Billy Hall, Knott Central High; Ryan Simpson, Western Hills High; Travis London, Barren Co. High; Daniel Correll, Breathitt Co. High; Buddy Perry, Spencer Co. High; Sarah Bivens, Calloway Co. High; Second Row Rebecca Orberson, Taylor Co. High; Joshua Rice, Martha Layne Collins High; Jordan Watts, Western Hills High; Ben Mills, Barbourville High; Logan Hill, North Laurel High; Bella Sawyer, Woodford Co. High; Marci Beason, Franklin Co. High; Douglas Newman, South Floyd High; Bottom Row Kassidy Perry, Carroll Co. High; Lyndi Walker, Anderson Co. High; Cody Mason, Oldham Co. High; Trent Arnold, Muhlenberg Co. High; Quinton McNeely, Lyon Co. High; Olivia Melton, Franklin Co. High; Lauralee Johnson, South Floyd High and Kaitlyn Hager, Western Hills High. (Students listed starting with top row, from left to right, as pictured in photograph).
Kentucky State Police Trooper Jacob Fortney, of KSP Post 2 in Madisonville (center) talked with students attending the Drive To Stay Alive program at Kentucky State Police headquarters in Frankfort on Sept. 5. Fortney attended the program as a high school student and said it had a major influence on his decision to become a state trooper. Shown left to right are: Trent Arnold, of Central City (Muhlenberg Co. High School); Douglas Newman, of McDowell (South Floyd High School); Sarah Bivins, of New Concord (Calloway Co. High School); Rebecca Orberson, of Campbellsville (Taylor Co. High School); Rebecca Sawyer, of Versailles (Woodford Co. High School); Marci Beason, of Frankfort (Franklin Co. High School); Ryan Simpson, of Frankfort (Western Hills High School) and Travis London, of Glasgow (Barren Co. High School).Drive to Stay Alive is an innovative program targeted directly at teenage drivers. Participants spend four days learning skills that may save their lives including hands-on skills in actual motor vehicle situations combined with classroom studies. KSP utilizes skilled driving instructors who take the teens through a variety of obstacles while coaching them regarding the correct way to control a vehicle in different driving scenarios. The training includes topics such as collision causation, vehicle dynamics and skid control, backing, multiple turns and lane interchange, safety belts and air bags, evasive maneuvers, off-road recovery, and controlled braking. “The unique aspect about Drive to Stay Alive is that the benefits of the program do not stop once the student completes the course,” says Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard, commander of the KSP Public Affairs Branch. “We have developed a comprehensive curriculum that uses the 'train-the-trainer' type format to spread the safe driving message," he explains. “After the students have completed the training, we partner them with an experienced Trooper and they work together to provide educational safe driving presentations to other students in their local communities.”