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Virginia youths to learn safe driving skills at VSP Driver Training Complex

virginia state policeMembers of Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety’s (YOVASO) Youth Advisory Council (YAC), along with college-level Regional Trainers and students selected to serve as youth leaders for the YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat will participate in a special training session at the Virginia State Police Driver Training Complex in Blackstone, Virginia on April 22 and 23.

Day one of the training will include a classroom session on vehicle operations including an overview of defensive driving skills, causative factors in vehicle crashes, vehicle maintenance, off road recovery and skid control, and nighttime driving skills. The first day will also include outdoor driver training exercises as students will get behind the wheel with VSP driving instructors to learn advanced driving skills in skid control, braking techniques for accident avoidance, backing skills, parallel parking, shuffle steering, off road recovery, and a four corners exercise.

The two-day training session will help students improve their own driving skills as well as share the information they learned with other young drivers during YOVASO programs and training sessions in their schools and communities.

“This training offers YOVASO’s Youth Leaders a unique opportunity to learn important life saving driving skills from certified VSP driving instructors,” said Sarah Westphal, YOVASO Marketing and Training Specialist. “Not only do teens review vehicle operations, but go behind the wheel to experience real world training exercises that enable them to increase their knowledge and skills to be safe on the roadway.”

In addition to the special driver training lessons, the students will also be preparing to serve as youth leaders for the YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat on June 19-22 at James Madison University.  On day two of the training, students will participate in sessions on leadership skills, team building, ice breakers and other topics to prepare them for this important task.

VSP troopers in attendance who will be working security for the retreat will have their own training on day two as well. The trooper component will include a security overview; outline roles, responsibilities, and assignments for the retreat; and training for use of YOVASO’s interactive ScanEd Program and VSP’s Distracted Driving Simulator Program.

“VSP is excited to be working with YOVASO to help train youth across the Commonwealth to be traffic safety advocates in their schools and communities,” said VSP Sgt. Robert H. Campbell Jr. and Security Director for the 2017 YOVASO Summer Leadership Retreat. “In order to see the number of teen car crash injuries and fatalities go down, we must invest in our youth and continue educating them on the importance of being a safe passenger and driver.”

This engaging and exciting weekend will also feature an evening cookout social and glow stick game on Saturday, April 22 to give the student leaders and troopers an opportunity to get to know one another.

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