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S.M.A.R.T. Driving School is smart

 A high school student navigates a reaction course at the S.M.A.R.T. driving school.
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Date published: 8/5/2008

I am writing to thank our law enforcement community for the great service it provides to the community and our newly driving teens.

I am referring to the Safety Maneuverability Awareness Responsibility Thinking (S.M.A.R.T.) Driving School.

I researched the school's premise, and my husband talked with the Spotsylvania County sheriff. We made it a condition for our son to drive solo upon earning his license.

We are not disappointed in what our son learned. He gained practical experience on how to recover from skids and driving off the pavement, parallel parking, measuring tire pressure, and so much more.

He used "fatal vision glasses" to simulate the effects of being intoxicated; he saw the negative impact on judgment and reaction ability.

Sadly (and surprisingly), our son told us after class that he was one of two students taking the course as a preventive measure. The other dozen students were present as part of a court-ordered remedial action after having committed traffic violations.

I am hoping this letter will serve to inform parents who might not know we have such a resource, and that they will be proactive and arm their new drivers with as many tools and skills as possible to navigate our busy roads.

I learned from my insurance company that motor-vehicle accidents are the top killers of 16-year-olds in this country.

Sharlene Capobianco