DELTA COUNTY, Mich. (WZMQ) – This summer, teens have the opportunity to learn important driving techniques in a Michigan State Police (MSP) patrol vehicle.
The MSP Gladstone Post will host the Teenage Defensive Driving Program June 28 – 30 at Midwest Truck Driving School in Escanaba.
“It has been a long-time program that the Michigan State Police has done downstate at the training academy at our drive track,” explained MSP Gladstone Post Sergeant Patrick Janisse.
Sergeant Janisse says the program is a great way for drivers ages 16 – 19 to practice critical safety skills. In fact, the program is receiving the Governor’s Traffic Safety Advisory Commission’s Outstanding Traffic Safety Achievement Award.
“It’s been absolutely great being able to take a program that’s wildly successful downstate and bring it to at least the teenagers of our area,” Janisse said.
Participants will train in five defensive driving exercises–serpentine, evasive maneuvering, precision maneuvering, controlled braking, and skid control.
“One exercise builds on top of the other in order to get teen drivers comfortable,” Janisse said. Then throughout the exercises, they build on their skills, and the amount of confidence that they have at the end of it is just phenomenal to watch.”
Janisse says the Defensive Driving Program gives teens skills beyond what they might learn in a driver’s education course.”
“It’s not a replacement to driver’s training; it’s just a supplement,” he said. “It just simulates in a static environment what types of hazardous conditions you might be driving on to operate your vehicle more safely.”
Registration is open for the Teenage Defensive Driving Program, and 72 spots are available. The cost is $75 per student.
After signing up, teens will be added to a waitlist. Janisse says applicants will be accepted and contacted approximately one month before the course takes place. He adds that organizers are working to accommodate as many students as possible.
To register for the program or to learn more, click here.