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AMVETS/TOYOTA U.S.A. SAFE DRIVING CHALLENGE OFFERS SCHOLARSHIPS TO NEW ENGLAND'S TOP TEEN DRIVERS

 WASHINGTON, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- AMVETS, the nation's fourth largest veterans service organization, will launch a pilot Safe Driving Challenge in New England in partnership with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
 The AMVETS/Toyota U.S.A. Safe Driving Challenge tests young drivers in three critical phases of automobile operation. The students are given a written test to determine their knowledge of driving theory and laws; a closed-course test to determine their vehicle control capabilities and an over-the-road driving test. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. will supply all of the vehicles used in the Safe Driving Challenge. The program is open to all high school students with a valid drivers license.
 "We welcome the opportunity to work with Toyota U.S.A.," said AMVETS National Commander James J. Kenney. "A driver certification program like this keeps our streets safe for everyone."
 "We are very excited about the AMVETS/Toyota program," added Gerald D. O'Callaghan, commander of AMVETS Department of Massachusetts. "It represents a fantastic opportunity for our kids."
 After regional preliminaries, the top contestants from Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire will gather in Natick, Mass. on the 10th of July to determine New England's top drivers. The winners will receive scholarship awards of $3,000 for first, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third.
 "We see this program as an investment in the future of our young people," commented J. Davis Illingworth, Group V.P., Toyota Division, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., "and Toyota is proud to be a part of it."
 While AMVETS volunteers will be canvassing area schools over the next few months, any qualified student interested in the program can obtain additional information by contacting AMVETS Department of Massachusetts at the State House. The direct telephone number is 617- 727-2972.
 AMVETS was established in 1944 and received its Congressional Charter in 1947 to serve the needs of all veterans and the communities in which they live.
 AMVETS/TOYOTA, U.S.A.
 Safe Driving Challenge
 Fact Sheet
 The Safe Driving Challenge emphasizes the need for safety, education, knowledge, and superior driving skills. The student will be given a battery of tests to measure knowledge, attitude and skills.
 The Four Phases of Competition:
 1) The written examination will test knowledge of motor laws,
 driving theory, driving courtesy, and alcohol and drug abuse in
 driving.
 2) An "over-the-road" course will test the contestant's ability to
 handle the vehicle in a variety of everyday driving patterns.
 3) A "closed course" gives every student the opportunity to
 demonstrate his or her ability to maneuver a vehicle around
 pylons, to park, and to stop on command.
 4) SOLO II lets the student demonstrate skills in emergency stops,
 lane changing, driving in reverse and the challenging serpentine
 course.
 Safety is stressed throughout each level of competition.
 Students are evaluated on safety, adjustment of car sets, seat belts and mirrors. A qualified judge is with the students at all times.
 Qualifications:
 -- Applicant must currently be enrolled in high school.
 -- Must have completed a prescribed, recognized driver education
 program taught by a high school or commercial driving school.
 -- Contestants must have a valid drivers license from state of
 residence (learner's permits are not acceptable), and be free
 from moving violations, including pending cases.
 -- Each applicant under 18 must have parental consent.
 -- Each application must be completed, signed and dated by the
 student.
 Who May Enter:
 All students who meet qualifications, as outlined, may enter SDC competition. Dependents or relatives of officials of the AMVETS organization, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., or its subsidiaries, judges, and/or driving instructors and/or managers of driving schools may be a contestant. Such officials will not be allowed to evaluate that contestant in any portion of the AMVETS/Toyota U.S.A. Safe driving Challenge.
 Scholarship prizes to be awarded include:
 -- $3,000 for the 1st place winner
 -- $2,000 for the 2nd place finisher
 -- $1,000 for the 3rd place finisher
 Regional contacts:
 Massachusetts: Hank Baggs, 508-655-6639
 New Hampshire: Gary Guzouskas, 603-271-3868
 Maine: Eugene Kiley, 207-846-5283
 -0- 4/7/93
 /CONTACT: Danny Devine of AMVETS National Headquarters, 301-459-9600, or Hank Baggs of AMVETS Post 70, Natick, Mass., 508-655-6639, or Frank Hammond of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., 212-644-3424/


CO: AMVETS; Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. ST: IN: SU:

LD-TM -- NY004 -- 3667 04/07/93 09:01 EDT
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Date:Apr 7, 1993
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