Local teen drivers test their skills at 23rd annual Lancaster/Lebanon safe driving competition

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Left to right: Manheim Central guidance counselor and event chaperone Brian Iezzi, Michael Knapp, Micah Hershberger, and Dan Tran. Holding the traveling team trophy that will be displayed at Manheim Central until the next competition in April 2017. Micah placed first for overall score and will go on to compete at the statewide PMTA Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth on May 12.

In a continuing effort to promote safe driving among young drivers, the Center for Traffic Safety  conducted its 23rd Annual Lancaster/Lebanon “Safe Driving Competition for Youth” at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center on Thursday, April 28, 2016.

The Center (a community traffic safety program serving Adams, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York Counties) conducted the first such competition in York County in May 1994.  Since then, the event has received national recognition and been duplicated in other parts of Pennsylvania and the nation.

After being selected by driver education instructors, guidance counselors, and/or administrators within their own respective district, the students demonstrated their safety knowledge and safe driving skills in three categories: 1) a driving range, 2) a perceptive driving test, and 3) a written test based on Pennsylvania’s Driver’s Manual.

Eighteen students from six Lancaster and Lebanon County high schools competed this year from Conestoga Valley, Ephrata, Lebanon, Manheim Central, Palmyra, and Solanco.

The skills course is designed by members of Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, an organization with experience in conducting similar safe driving events for the trucking industry.  While students awaited their crack at the driving range, they got a chance to sit behind the wheel of a tractor trailer from XPO Logistics to more clearly experience a truck driver’s “blind spots.”

Judging the skills course were local law enforcement officers representing Manheim Township, Manor Township, Northern Lancaster County Regional, PA State Police-Troop J, and West Hempfield Township.

Manheim Central High School won top bragging rights as their combined team score won them the team traveling trophy.  Student team members Michael Knapp, Micah Hershberger, and Dan Tran had a combined score of 324 out of a possible 495.

Winning top honors, and receiving a $1,500 continuing education scholarship sponsored by State Farm Insurance was Manheim Central student Micah Hershberger.  Micah also placed first in the driving range skills course earning a 69 out of a possible 75 points to win a $100 prize, also sponsored by State Farm Insurance.

Mason Sosnoski of Palmyra High School placed second overall to win a $1,000 continuing education scholarship sponsored by AAA Central Penn and State Farm Insurance.

Liam Hodgson of Solanco High School won first place in both the written and the perceptual tests.  He won two $100 prizes sponsored by State Farm Insurance.  Notably, Liam scored 44 on the written test, missing only one question.

Liam also placed third in the overall score and will receive a $500 continuing education scholarship sponsored by the Lancaster County Chapter of the PA Motor Truck Association.

The top two overall winners, Micah Hershberger and Mason Sosnoski, will go on to compete at PMTA’s Pennsylvania Safe Driving Competition for Youth to be held at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill on Thursday, May 12.  The state competition will offer $8,000 in prizes, including a $5,000 scholarship to the top winner.

Additional sponsors included Donegal Mutual Insurance, J. Richard Morrett Insurance Agency, Inc., State Farm Insurance agent Chris Milsom, Keller Bros Ford, and Lebanon Valley Motorcycle Club.  Laserdome donated a party for a drawing (valued at $112).

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