An impassioned plea by Clover High School principal Mark Hopkins, Capt. David Dover from the Town of Clover Police Department, and Sgt. Lee Stoneburner from the York County Sherriff’s Office led the Clover School Board to unanimously approve a new requirement for student drivers who park on campus.
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, any student who wants the privilege of driving and parking on campus must first complete Alive at 25, an innovative, young driver intervention program that bridges the gap between what teens learn in driver’s education and what behaviors and skills are needed to become responsible, crash-free drivers.
Developed by the National Safety Council for young drivers between the ages of 15-24, the program also aims to help young drivers choose safe driving practices, to take responsibility for their behavior, and to be aware of the typical driving hazards. The program will be unwritten in part through a $10,500 grant from Continental Tire, making it possible for up to 300 students to complete the course at no cost this fall at the school. Students would be able to participate in other courses offered locally, including a course taught the third Saturday of each month at the York County law enforcement training facility. The fee for the course is $35.
Taught by certified law enforcement officers, the course is delivered through interactive media segments, workbook exercises, class discussions, and role playing. Young drivers learn how to take control of situations by understanding the consequences of their actions. It offers a balanced approach to help teens not only regulate their driving behavior, but also helps them deal with the actual issues that can influence their driving behavior.
Statistics from the National Safety Council reinforce the reasons for requiring this program for student drivers in Clover. The council says the number one killer for teens is car crashes and that 30 individuals, age 15-24, die every day in motor vehicle collisions. Drivers aged 15-24 make up 14 percent of all drivers, but they make up 27 percent of all collisions.
In South Carolina, 164 young adults between the ages of 15-24 died last year due to vehicle collisions. The impact has not been lost in Clover as three students in automobile accidents.
With the addition of Clover, all high schools in York County now require completion of Alive at 25 to be eligible for a parking pass. More than 100 high schools across the state participate in the program.