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Teens learn about traffic safety during leadership retreat

July 26, 2013 | Virginia News

News Image Nearly 200 teenagers steered, spun and crashed in driving simulators Thursday at Lynchburg College to learn about traffic safety.

They have been at the college since Tuesday for the 2013 summer leadership retreat sponsored by Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety program, or YOVASO.

“We want the kids to come here and learn things that will make them better drivers,” said Mary King, program administrator for YOVASO.

The program was developed in 2001 to combat the increasing number of teenagers killed in traffic crashes.

“The number one killer of young people nowadays is car crashes,” said Det. Todd Cheyney of the Salem Police Department.

Though YOVASO began as just a few school clubs, it grew into a statewide program in 2007.

“Every year since 2007, we’ve had a decline in teen fatalities,” King said. “We have had great success.”

More than 60 schools were represented this week, some traveling from Northern Virginia for the retreat. King said many have been with YOVASO for at least a year.

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