Public Officials Rally to Promote Safer Teen Driving during Holiday Season!

State and local officials will rally on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 10:00 AM in the State House lobby area outside the Governor’s Office to promote greater public awareness for the Alive at 25 Defensive Driving Program sponsored by the South Carolina National Safety Council and to film a PSA promoting defensive driving by young adults. Wray Automotive, the producer for the PSA being filmed, is a major supporter of the Alive at 25 Program.

Participating in the promotion will be Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, Senator Joel Lourie, Senator John Courson, Senator Ronnie Cromer, Representative Nathan Ballentine, Representative Chip Huggins, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts, Lexington School District One Superintendent Karen Woodward, Lexington School District Five Superintendent Scott Andersen, Executive Director Brooke Russell of the SC National Safety Council, Harold Wray of Wray Automotive, and teachers and students from Dutch Fork High School.
Media representatives are urged to attend and cover this event to help increase awareness by young adults and their parents of the importance of safe driving during the Holidays when teen drivers are expected to spend more time than normal behind the wheel.

Alive at 25, a defensive driver education program for young adults, was piloted at Dutch Fork High School in April 2007. It has since been expanded to 9 high schools throughout SC. In any participating school, only students who attend the program are permitted to operate their vehicles on campus.

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of teens in the United States, accounting for 44% of all teen deaths. During November 2007, students and teachers at Dutch Fork High School observed the sobering first year anniversary of two tragic automobile accidents, occurring one week apart, which claimed the lives of three fellow students. Those tragedies were the impetus for Dutch Fork High School teacher Kelly Payne and others to bring Alive at 25 to SC.

Unlike traditional driver’s education courses that focus on the mechanics of driving, Alive at 25 addresses the behaviors of driving. It provides tools for making better decisions in a peer-pressure environment and reinforces good decision-making.

The program, developed by the National Safety Council, concentrates on drivers between the ages of 14 and 24 – the group most likely to be involved in fatal collisions. It is taught by off-duty law enforcement officers in an intensive 4-½ hour session that focuses on improving the behavior and decision-making techniques of young drivers and passengers.

More information on the South Carolina National Safety Council and the Alive at 25 Program is available at

(For questions or more information, please contact
Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom at 734-2588.)