NewsWest Valley NewsAvondale News


Valley teens complete defensive driving course at Raceway

PHX Raceway Defensive Driving Class
Posted at 6:04 PM, Feb 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 12:08:51-05

PHOENIX — A mission to save lives through a teen driving school. The free, proactive program is called ‘B.R.A.K.E.S.’.

ABC15 went behind the wheel at the Phoenix Raceway to learn how it works.

Amanda Taylor admits, having a teenage driver can at times be overwhelming, “scary,” Taylor laughs. “It’s a little unbelievable at times."

Taylor attending the B.R.A.K.E.S. Program, which stands for, ‘Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe’.

B.R.A.K.E.S. Program

“A friend of mine suggested it to me,” says Taylor. “We signed up both of our girls and they came down and it was easy.”

BRAKES event leader, Brendon Short says every course is designed to teach and help with muscle memory.

Teens must go through three modules. “Crash avoidance which also has our slalom course,” says Short. “Then we have panic braking, which includes our distraction course which is huge for teens, and our drop wheel section. And last but not least, which is everyone’s favorite most of the time, is skidpad.”

Parents also participate in the program, the goal is to save lives according to leaders.

“Unfortunately it was sprung out of a tragedy,” says Short. “In 2008, Doug Herbert lost both of his boys in a horrific crash due to inexperience.”

Herbert, an NHRA Drag Racer, got the call of their crash while he was in Phoenix competing.

Turning a tragedy into a lifesaving tool, now over 100,000 students have gone through the B.R.A.K.E.S. program.

In a recent partnership study with the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; researchers discovered, according to Short, “when a teen takes this program, they are 64% less likely to be involved in a crash.”

A program like this gives Taylor more peace of mind.

“I would 100% recommend it for anybody to come out at any time and do it,” says Taylor.

While dozens graduated from this weekend’s program, B.R.A.K.E.S. tells ABC15 additional driving events will be scheduled in the fall this year.