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Safety

Teenage drivers learn defensive driving skills through Hancock College safety program

AHC Defensive Driving Training Program
Teenagers go through defensive driving training program at Hancock's Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

LOMPOC, Calif. -- Several high school students went through a special driving program at Allan Hancock College's Public Safety Training Complex in Lompoc on Friday.

"We have teenagers that are going through defensive driver training, behind the wheel training," said Bob Reid, Law Enforcement Training Coordinator. "We give them some good defensive driving techniques in the areas of collision avoidance, skid control, slow speed precision skilled driving, proper cornering and commentary driving."

Students from mostly San Luis Obispo High School went through the eight-hour course, where they each completed a variety of hands-on training exercises.

"This is an advanced course," said Reid. "They learn skid control, which is very often overlooked, how to drive when the car begins to lose control in a corner or wet weather driving, collision avoidance, what happens if something occurs in front of them, how to avoid that collision that happened in front of them, how to properly drive in heavy traffic in an urban environment where they need to understand basic rules of the road and good defensive driving techniques to keep them safe."

According to the college, the purpose of the program is to reduce the number of teenage driving accidents that occur due to lack of driving experience.

"That's our hope," Reid said. "The course is designed to provide them with life skills they can take with them for the rest of their lives and develop them into good, safe defensive drivers."

Righetti sophomore Chloe Lemaire completed the course on Friday. She recently received her driver license just two earlier.

"I've learned a lot of good skills to have," said Lamaire. "I think it's really important because before this I had no idea what I would have done in these situations, and now I'm getting it explained to me in a hands-on experience, with the scenarios that might occur."

Reid said the program is available free of charge to any local high school.

"We wish we could provide this to every high school student," said Reid. "We do make it available on an as-needed, first-come, first-serve basis. We provide this at no cost to (high schools). That's how valuable we think it is."

Reid added another set of students are scheduled for the program next month.

California / Education / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County / What's Right
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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