Founder of Non-Profit: B.R.A.K.E.S., a Teen Pro-Active Driving Course
NHRA Drag Racer and Radio Host
Meet Doug Herbert---an amazing individual and champion for our youth. Doug's story is touching and his work is powerful. In 2008, Doug lost his two young sons in an auto accident and vowed to find a way to prevent other families from experiencing this pain and grief. B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) was born that same year. This is not your typical driver's ed class! BRAKES courses are conducted in locations around the country in places like the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Southern California at Pomona Fairplex, to name a few.
Students drive cars donated by KIA in a course that teaches them how to avoid accidents on a slalom course, how to handle distraction, car control and recovery, and what many students describe as the fun part of the course--the "panic stop," (driving as fast as they can and then slamming the brakes and whippping the wheel). Parents must attend this free course (which does involve a $99 refundable deposit) along with their teen. Doug's program is making a difference in the lives of teens across the country and statistics show there is approximately a 64% reduction in crashes of BRAKES graduates. To learn more about the program, gather some excellent tips from Doug, and find out how your child can participate (rumor has it the program is coming to the Atlanta Motor Speedway), read on!
In my last blog on teen driving, I discussed Georgia's graduated driver's license process for those ages 15-18. There are a lot of specific rules and requirements, but what does this mean practically speaking?
One important take away for parents is that regardless of your child's age, the restrictions associated with an Intermediate Provisional License, or a "Class D" license, are based on the class of the license and not the age of the driver. The Class D license is the license your child gets after they graduate from a learner's permit but are not given the full privileges, of a "Class C" license (which is what we as adults have).
This becomes problematic when teens who are 18 years old do not take the steps to apply for a full, class C license. They may believe that because of their age the curfew restrictions and passenger requirements do not apply. However, if they do not abide by these rules and are stopped by law enforcement, they could be given a citation and then have to face the hassle of going to juvenile court.
Getting a driver’s license used to be a teenage rite of passage that implied growing freedom, but today comes with significant restrictions and oversight, as well as substantial penalties for running afoul of teenage driving regulations.
Revamping of the Requirements
States across the country have been revamping drivers license requirements for teenagers since the late 1990s in an effort to prevent what had been a growing number of teen driving-related fatalities. Georgia’s revamped teenage driving laws are dictated by Joshua’s Law and the Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.