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Carroll County High student Kassidy Perry was among 23 students throughout the state selected by Kentucky State Police to participate in the “Drive to Stay Alive” academy. The program ran from Sept. 5-9 at KSP Headquarters in Frankfort.
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.
Perry is the daughter of Denedia Perry of Carrollton, and Donnie Perry of Carrollton. She said the DTSA experience was incredible.
“This program has changed my mind about how focused and responsible all drivers need to be,” says Perry. “I strongly recommend every Junior and Senior in the state to take this course.”
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,” Saint-Blancard said.
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.
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.