Martinsville, Virginia


Local Teens Participate in DRIVE SMART Event at Martinsville Speedway

Students from Bassett, Magna Vista, and Martinsville High Schools and Carlisle School spent the day participating in an interactive teen driving event at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday.

The event was coordinated by DRIVE SMART Virginia to educated students on the dangers of distracted driving and how to remain safe behind the wheel driving on Virginia’s highways.

“The goal of this event is to educate teens about the importance of developing safe driving habits, including distraction free and sober driving and safety belt use,” said Janet Brooking, Executive Director of DRIVE SMART Virginia. “We know that this interactive programming resonates with teens, and we look forward to making a difference in this community.”

Interactive activities for the students included distracted driving simulators, a seatbelt convincer, an impaired golf cart course, and a vehicle safety check station. Partners providing activities at this event included DRIVE SMART Virginia, Virginia State Police, Henry County Department of Public Safety, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Patrick Henry Community College, Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, and advocate Brad Hughes.

“We are delighted to host such an important event,” said Clay Campbell, President of Martinsville Speedway. “Safety is a top priority for Martinsville Speedway, both on the track and in our community.”

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there were over 18,000 crashes last year in Virginia involving a teen driver and 26 teens were killed on Virginia roadways. The CDC estimates that per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.

“We need to do better,” said Janet Brooking. “Most of these teen crashes are preventable. Hopefully hands-on events such as this one will move the needle and save lives.”

Nearly 400 students participated in the event this year.