RALEIGH -- The North Carolina State Highway Patrol officially has partnered with B.R.A.K.E.S., founded by drag racing hall-of-famer Doug Herbert after he lost his two sons in a highway wreck in 2008.
In November, the NC State Highway Patrol will open up its training facility in Raleigh to host B.R.A.K.E.S. extensive free driving training courses. B.R.A.K.E.S. stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe. It focuses on teaching young drivers to be more confident but conscientious behind the wheel.
Highway Patrol Sergeant Jeff Gordon explained all too frequently, he sees teenagers engaging in dangerous driving habits. "I would be amiss to say that distracted driving isn't one of the contributing factors of teen driving. That's texting, that can be talking with other teens...and then the next thing that we see in a lot of crashes is we see a lot of teens that simply run off the road. And your first instinct is to jerk the wheel back, and then what you have is a vehicle that's going to center and strike another vehicle, or sometimes overturning and ejecting someone from the vehicle."
Four free driving courses will be offered on November 23 and November 24 at the Highway Patrol's training facility on East Tyron Road in Raleigh. Each four-hour course will involve both teenager and parent participation. They will use a driving course to do exercises focusing on driving distractions, wheel drop off recovery, panic stop, accident avoidance and car control and recovery.
The courses are open to any North Carolina teenager ages 15 to 19. There is a $99 reservation deposit, but Sgt. Gordon said participants will get that money back, provided they show up to the course. Or, they can opt to donate those deposits.
To register, go to www.putonthebrakes.org, or visit the B.R.A.K.E.S. booth at the North Carolina State Fair.
Up to 35 students can participate in each session. The Highway Patrol said if the slots for the two upcoming sessions fill up, teenagers can sign up for the next set of sessions that the agency is working on scheduling. There also are free sessions once a month at both the Charlotte speedway and dragway.
WFMY News 2