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BRAKES program brings teen driving course to Warrensburg

The Missouri Safety Center will be teaming up with the BRAKES program to bring more awareness to safe teen driving.

The Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe program will be coming to UCM on Saturday and Sunday at the Highway Safety Center Instructional Park located at 1200 S. Holden St. The program will run two sessions each day from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

Joanne Kurt-Hilditch, senior director of the Missouri Safety Center, said the BRAKES program will help teens learn proactive and preventive skills when it comes to driving.

“The BRAKES program is an advanced driving program for teens generally between the ages 15 and 19 years old,” she said.

Kurt-Hilditch said the BRAKES program was created by NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert after his two sons were killed car accident in 2008.

Kurt-Hilditch said the program teaches students how to handle a number of different incidents.

“The purpose of the program is for younger drivers who oftentimes get distracted by passengers, the radio and their phones, and it’s for them to recognize how to handle certain situations and how to be proactive,” she said.

To participate in the program, teens must have a permit or driver’s license.

The program includes many different activities.

“They do things like learning how to respond to a skid, learning how to drive in inclement weather and they also have some virtual goggles so it seems like they’ve been drinking and they can see what their response time is,” Kurt-Hilditch said.

She said parents are allowed to participate so they can be engaged in the activities and see what it is like to be in those situations.

“It’s a lot of fun; in addition, they are learning tons of new skills,” Kurt-Hilditch said.

She said all the instructors are coming from the BRAKES program and are highly trained. Many of them have law enforcement backgrounds.

“The different things they do is car recovery control, panic stop, distracted driving, crash avoidance and skid control,” Kurt-Hilditch said.

The BRAKES program is open to all students at the university and residents of Warrensburg. 

To register, fill out the form on There is a $99 refundable deposit to hold a spot in the course. At the end of the course, the deposit can be refunded or it can be donated to the BRAKES Program to help fund other events.

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