Michigan State Police hosts teen defensive driving course all week in Escanaba

An MSP car in front of the defensive driving course.
An MSP car in front of the defensive driving course.(WLUC photo)
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan State Police (MSP) is offering a driving course for teens all week that is new to the U.P.

With lights and sirens, teens in the Escanaba area got a chance to drive an MSP car Monday.

“Obviously we get to drive fast. Right here I’m doing some precision driving so that’s going to be fun,” said Lillian Hauswirth, a student on Monday morning in the defensive driving class.

It wasn’t just for fun, however. Teens in the course learned defensive driving skills.

“That makes them safer and actually gives them the opportunity to know what to do in a situation when it does arise,” said Sgt. Patrick Janisse of the MSP Gladstone Post.

The program started in Lower Michigan and this is the first time the course is being offered in Upper Michigan.

“We have the opportunity to put them through an exercise that maybe they might lose control of the vehicle and how to actually overcome and adapt,” said Sgt. Janisse.

Teens maneuvered through various challenges and tried to avoid cones. Then they took the cars to the skid pad to practice losing control of the car.

“It’s very fun and it’s great to get to know the guys that are doing it, to know the police officers,” said Hauswirth.

This course continues all week and is open to teens ages 16 through 19. There are two sessions each day, the from 8 a.m. until noon and the second from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

“You can show up in person, we can assist you with a registration process here behind the Ruth Butler Building at the U.P. State Fairgrounds,” said Sgt. Janisse.

The class is $75 per student. In addition to learning about defensive driving, the MSP hopes students walk away with more confidence while on the road.

To learn more about the class, click here.

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