The Kentucky State Police (KSP) is accepting applications for its ninth annual Drive To Stay Alive teen driving academy Sept. 7 – 11 at KSP Headquarters in Frankfort.

Drive to Stay Alive is an innovative program targeted directly at teenage drivers. Participants will spend four days learning potential life-saving skills including hands-on skills in actual motor vehicle situations combined with classroom studies. KSP uses skilled driving instructors that take participants through a variety of obstacles while coaching them the correct way to control a vehicle in different driving scenarios. The training includes topics like collision causation; vehicle dynamics and skid control; backing; multiple turns and lane interchange; safety belts and air bags; evasive maneuvers; off-road recovery and controlled braking.

Lt. David Jude oversees the Drive To Stay Alive academy and attributes the programs’ success to the quality of students that participate in the academy.

“The unique aspect about Drive to Stay Alive is that the benefits of the program do not stop once the student completes the course,” Jude said. “We have developed a comprehensive curriculum that uses the ‘train-the-trainer’ type format to spread the safe driving message.

“After a student has completed the training, we partner him or her with an experienced trooper, and they work together to provide educational safe driving presentations to other students in their local communities,” Jude added.

Jude said to be eligible for the program, a student candidate must be:

  • 16 years of age or older
  • a licensed driver
  • able to show good communication skills/leadership traits
  • granted permission from principal or superintendent to participate (all Kentucky public and private school students are welcome)

Applications for the Drive To Stay Alive program are available on the KSP website. There is no fee for the program but space is limited. The deadline for submitting an application is Aug. 31.

For more information about Drive To Stay Alive, go to or contact the Public Affairs Branch at (502) 782-1780.