Rappahannock County High School leaders in partnership with the Youth of the Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia State Police are encouraging our county’s students to include “traffic safety” on their Prom Prep To Do lists. With prom at the end of the coming week, Rappahannock County High School is hosting a special, interactive experience for all students on Monday, March 18.
Not only will the students experience firsthand the dangers of distracted and impaired driving through the use of a simulator, but will also hear from Virginia State Police Superintendent and Rappahannock County native, Colonel Gary T. Settle. Colonel Settle will address the student body at 1:15 p.m. Monday.
From 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., students will have the opportunity to drive a golf-cart simulator through a cones course while accompanied by a Virginia State Police trooper. The cones course is specifically designed to expose students to the serious dangers of all three forms of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive distraction. In addition, students will be introduced to the consequences of driving impaired through the use of “DUI goggles.” The goggles let the students, in a safe and controlled environment, witness the impact alcohol has on one’s driving ability and fine motor skills. The YOVASO program also reinforces with teens the importance of always buckling up and of complying with posted speed limits.
“The simulator shows teens the consequences of risky driving behaviors,” said Mary King, Program Manager for YOVASO. “It creates a unique opportunity for students to talk with each other and law enforcement about driver and passenger safety.”
State Farm® provides grant funding for this program. “Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in the U.S.”, said State Farm spokesperson Kate Beadle. “State Farm is strongly committed to doing everything we can to reduce teen crashes and help save lives.”
Preliminary data indicates 71 teenagers lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in Virginia last year – a 27% increase from 2017. With the high-risk, warm weather months approaching, YOVASO’s goal is to encourage Virginia’s teens to drive safely and more responsibly, and to prevent traffic fatalities. To learn more about this program, visit YOVASO’s Interactive Programs Page on their website.
Youth Of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) partners with the Virginia State Police to bring the Distracted and Impaired Driving Simulator to schools and youth groups across the state.