BRAKES Trains 10000th Student
(CONCORD, NC – DEC 7, 2013 – RIS) B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) provided safe highway driving training to the charity's ten thousandth teen driver today, in parallel courses at zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC and at El Toro, California.
Following the loss of Doug Herbert's two sons in a road crash in January, 2008, the NHRA Top Fuel star began the search for a way to prevent other families from similar tragedies. With input from his sons' scoolmates, he founded the 501(c)3 charity to provide free advanced safe driving education in the Teen Pro-Active Driving Course.
"I want to do everything I can to keep other parents from getting the same phone call I did," says Herbert.
Schools have been held in over 17 states across the nation, from Alaska to Florida, with students learning typical emergency situations and how to respond to them without panicking and losing control. Exercise ranges include practice in skid recovery, accident avoidance lane change, wheel drop-off recovery and a distraction exercise that graphically demonstrates the dangers of distracted driving.
Each weekend trains around 140 students at no cost to them, with an average expense of $300 per student, covered by donations and sponsorships. NHRA Pro Stock 2012 champion Allen Johnson is sponsoring a school at Bristol International Speedway on the weekend of February 1-2, 2014. “This is just a fantastic boost to our program,” says Herbert. “In the past, Allen has actually bussed kids to our schools at the Charlotte Motor Speedway near our home base, but this time, we’ll be offering our courses close to Allen’s home and shop in Greeneville, TN. Having such a great friend and terrific driver sponsoring our debut in Bristol has our entire B.R.A.K.E.S. team smiling from ear to ear.”
“Doug’s organization is just incredible,” says Johnson, the driver of the Mopar Express Lane Dodge Avenger and whose team brought the 2013 Mello Yello Pro Stock championship to the J&J Racing operation this year.
“Teaching our teenagers how to be safer, more mature drivers is so important these days with so many distractions like cell phones and loud stereos stealing their attention. The Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools help kids to remain focused while driving and teach them car control skills to help them avoid having an accident when the unexpected happens.”
“Bristol Dragway has been a great track for me throughout my Top Fuel career,” adds Herbert. “Now with our Teen Pro-Active Driving Schools coming to the oval cross the street, that facility will take on even greater meaning and significance for me and everyone at B.R.A.K.E.S.”
Parents are required to attend the schools with their children, as some exercises are also provided for the adults, making the day more valuable for the families by reinforcing the experience and giving a common reference for becoming safer on the road.
The four-hour classes have been expanded to include partnership with the NC State Highway Patrol at their training center in Raleigh, NC, where troopers observed and assisted, from the commanding colonel to newer staff.
For more information on attending one of the sessions, check out the school's web site at http://www.putonthebrakes.com.
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.