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ArlingtonEducationEffort aims to make youth safer drivers

Effort aims to make youth safer drivers

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Statistics show that more teen drivers in Virginia will be involved in traffic crashes between May and August than in any other time of the year, Virginia State Police said.

To help save lives and prevent crashes during the high-risk warm weather months, Virginia schools and youth groups are kicking off a statewide teen-safety campaign to establish safe driving and passenger-safety behaviors.

The “Arrive Alive” campaigned is sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) and focuses on the increased risk of teen driver crashes during the spring and summer months. Throughout the campaign, high-school students will lead peer-to-peer programs on speed prevention and seat-belt use while middle-school students will focus their messaging on being a safe passenger and always buckling up.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 63 percent of young driver-related fatal crashes in 2020 were speed-related and 63 percent of people ages 15 to 20 who were killed in crashes last year were unrestrained.


“Although young driver-related crashes were down in 2020 in Virginia, we had an alarming 12-percent increase in fatalities among young drivers to risky behaviors such as speeding and not wearing a seat belt” said Mary King, YOVASO program manager. “If we are going to save lives, we need our youth to use their positive influence to change these high-risk behaviors and attitudes.”

YOVASO’s Arrive Alive Campaign offers several opportunities for students, schools and youth groups to take action.

The Creative Entry Competition is the highlight of this year’s campaign, allowing student groups to participate in a behavior-changing project for a chance to win cash prizes. High- and middle-school student groups will compete separately.

All creative entry messaging must be related to the Arrive Alive Campaign theme by addressing speed prevention at the high-school level and seat-belt use at the middle-school level. All entries will be judged on content, creativity and student involvement, with prizes funded by State Farm. For guidelines and the entry form, visit www.yovaso.org and find the Arrive Alive entry under “Upcoming Events & Campaigns.”

Youthsages 11 to 20 also may participate in the campaign by registering for the free #ArriveAlive21 Kit that includes driver- and passenger-safety resources, activity ideas, summer recipes and other fun items such as sunglasses and stickers. Students who register for a kit will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card. Winners will be selected randomly every two weeks starting April 16 and continuing throughout August.

Arrive Alive is funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles with additional funding from State Farm, which supports prizes and educational incentives and materials.

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