The Virginia DMV Highway Safety Office recorded that from 2012 to 2017 teen drivers in Virginia were involved in 42,538 crashes during the months from May through August, with 222 of those crashes resulting in a fatality to themselves or other motorists and passengers.
Earlier this spring, several Virginia schools joined in a statewide effort to encourage safe teen driving. Through the campaign “Arrive Alive,” students work in groups to find ways to encourage safe driving among their peers, reported NBC, which also featured information supplied by Arrive Alive cosponsor Youth of Virginia Speak Out (Y0VASO). YOVASO, a state program sponsored the Blue Ridge Transportation Safety Board (BRTSB) and the Virginia Highway Safety Office (VaHSO), was founded in 2001 in response to Virginia communities concerned about a 39 percent increase in the state’s teen fatalities in 2000.
Today, the peer-to-peer program has active safe driving clubs at high schools and middle schools throughout the state. Expanded in 20017, YOVASO has contributed to a steady decline in teen vehicle crash fatalities in Virginia. Students at schools in dozens of Virginia communities actively participated in Arrive Alive. Activities include developing a creative project for the student body designed to influence change in risky driving behaviors and attitudes, and holding distracted driving checks as students arrive at school to determine the campaign’s impact on reducing distracted driving. “Arrive Alive provides a unique opportunity for teens to take the lead in making sure their friends and peers always arrive home safely,” said Casey Taylor, YOVASO Program Development Coordinator.
In 2017, students involved in Arrive Alive were able to participate in IDrive on the Go, a program of the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education that partnered with Arrive Alive to bring a greater awareness to driver, bike, pedestrian and passenger safety. IDrive on the Go travels to schools statewide providing hands-on safety simulations for novice drivers. “Our goal is to prevent tragic biking and pedestrian accidents and car crashes through a strategic, combined effort,” said the foundation’s Traffic Safety Community Educator Haley Glynn.
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