Speaking out and saving lives
YOVASO was started in Roanoke, Virginia in 2001 as a pilot program for the Commonwealth by the Blue Ridge Transportation Safety Board (BRTSB) and the Virginia Highway Safety Office (VaHSO).
The program was developed in response to a 39% increase in the state’s teen fatalities in 2000 (from 113 in 1999 to 157 in 2000) and community meetings which highlighted a need for peer-to-peer advocacy programs in the schools. YOVASO operated primarily in schools in Southwest Virginia until 2007 when the Virginia State Police Association (VSPA) began administering the program and secured a grant from the VaHSO to expand the program statewide. On October 1, 2014 YOVASO came under the direction of the Virginia State Police. Today, the program has active safe driving clubs at high schools, middle schools, and youth groups in all regions of the Commonwealth. Through the continued sponsorship of VSP and grant funding from VaHSO, membership in YOVASO is free to all high schools, middle schools, and youth groups. Since statewide expansion of YOVASO in 2007, teen fatalities have steadily declined from 140 in 2007 to 71 in 2018.