Teen Driving Program Goes Statewide

Oct 24, 2013

Kentucky State Police are taking a teen driving safety program statewide thanks to a contribution by Toyota.

Alive at 25 is a free innovative defensive-driving course developed by the National Safety Council. It’s been administered by Kentucky State Police since 2004, but now, with a $150,000 donation from Toyota, the program will be made available across the state over the next two years.

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer says the death toll among drivers ages 16 to 19 has fallen 46 percent since the course debuted.

"Our 16 to 19 year old driving population in Kentucky only represents 7 percent of the driving pie, but they account for 16 percent of the injury-related crashes and 10 percent of our fatalities, and although that number has gone way down and we're very proud of that, 72 young people dying on the roadways last year is unacceptable to us, so we're hopefully going to change that," Brewer says.

High school senior Zach Schrader says the videos he watched as part of the course got him to adopt a new driving ritual.

"Whenever I get behind the wheel, I always put my phone into my glove compartment box and turn it off so that I don't get distracted and don't get the urge to pick it up because I can wait until I get home," he says.

Despite the positive overall trend over the last decade, the number of teens killed in passenger vehicles ticked up slightly in 2012, but police hope expansion of the program will bring those numbers back down.