UNK- The Nebraska Safety Center at the University of Nebraska at Kearney officially received two vehicles from KN Energy for use at the driving range in a news conference this morning. Those present for the event were Dr. Darrel Jensen and Sherry Morrow from the Nebraska Safety Center, and Larry Lehmann and Kendall Nelson from KN Energy.

KN Energy has agreed to donate all out-of-use company vehicles to the Nebraska Safety Center for use in their driver education program. A van and a pickup were donated to the driving range on Wed., with the donation of other vehicles to come on a rotational basis. Eventually, the Safety Center hopes to phase out all of its present cars with help from KN Energy, said Sherry Morrow, research assistant professor at the Nebraska Safety Center.

“We have surplus vehicles from time to time and are really happy to donate them to the Safety Center driving program because they work so closely with the youth from across the state,” Lehmann said. “At KN Energy we know the future is with our youth, and we like to do anything we can to benefit the young people in Nebraska.”

Dr. Darrel Jensen, associate professor at the Nebraska Safety Center, said the donated vehicles, ranging from vans to cars, will be very beneficial to the 1,000 students that participate in the driver education program each year.

“The variety of the vehicles that weÕll receive will enhance the experience of the participants,” he said. “This donation will enhance the driver education program and provide a higher level of education to its participants.”

Jensen also noted that the newer vehicle models that KN Energy is donating will be beneficial to the program participants. The newest cars the Safety Center currently uses are 1989 models. The KN Energy vehicles that will be donated are models manufactured after 1990.

“The newer vehicles contain technological elements that manufacturers donÕt normally educate people about, like placement of side mirrors and anti-lock brakes,” he said.

The new vehicles will allow the students to actively learn about techniques theyÕve only talked about in class, Morrow said.

“WeÕre really pleased that KN Energy has looked at us and chose our program for the donation of its vehicles,” she said.