Free national teen defensive driving school coming to Lincoln

Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 12:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2023 at 3:48 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A free national teen defensive driving program is making its first-ever appearance in Nebraska in August.

The B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) program, presented by the Nebraska Safety Council and the Nebraska Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office, will be hosting its training sessions at the Lincoln Airport on Aug. 12-13, with Aug. 12 classes starting at 8 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Aug. 13 classes starting at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

With vehicles provided by Kia Motors, the program aims to train and educate teens on the importance of safe and responsible driving with extensive behind-the-wheel instruction from professional trainers including current and former law enforcement officers and professional racing drivers. Some exercises include distracted driving awareness, panic braking, crash avoidance, drop-wheel/off-road recovery and car control/skid recovery.

According to B.R.A.K.E.S., teens who have taken the course are 64 percent less likely to get into an auto accident up to three years after completing the training.

The non-profit program was founded by multi-time Top Fuel drag racing champion Doug Herbert in honor of his two sons, Jon and James, who lost their lives in a tragic car crash in 2008. Since then, the program has trained more than 110,000 teens and their parents to date.

“Right after the accident with John and James I wanted to do something to try and affect other kids lives and other parents lives because I don’t think anybody really has any idea how much it affects everybody else so we started this program called B.R.A.K.E.S.,” Herbert said.

It its first year, Herbert focused on training Jon and James’ friends and ended up training 50 teens. Soon after, Herbert was receiving hundreds of requests from other parents wanting the same type of teen driving for their teens.

“It makes me feel better to do something with the kids and it makes me feel better because it helps a little period of time where I’m not thinking about John and James and I’m not thinking about doing something with them because I’m involved with something else,” Herbert said.

Registration is open for Nebraska teens. To learn more about registering and the requirements, visit their website.