BRAKE does not just conduct a young driver course - the second component is a parents'/carers' program of about 2 hours duration.
The parents'/carers' role in the safe driving future of young drivers is at times understated.
BRAKE conducts this program because the parent/carer of the young driver is as important in reducing the chances of the young driver crashing as the young driver themselves.
Big statement – yes, but so very true.
Research suggests that those parents'/carers' who actively discuss their child's future driving before they even commence driving, and maintain that involvement, greatly contribute to decreasing the chances of their child crashing.
The parent/carers program is held separately to the participants program, but usually sometime when it is running. During the parents'/carers' program BRAKE shows parents/carers what their child is learning during BRAKE and that their child is being actively encouraged to discuss with them their driving, and their own driving in particular so that they can assess and learn.
We also outline that we have been told many, many times by participants how unsafe and dangerous so many parents'/carers' are, sometimes in the mistaken belief that they are actually helping their young driver. The promising thing out of all of this is that our young people identify this themselves as incredibly dangerous and perhaps totally inappropriate when discussing during the BRAKE course.
Parents'/carers' are then shown what they should do, or arguably need to do, to assist their young drivers. We must point out that BRAKE is not trying to make a parent/carer a driving instructor. We are teaching techniques that they can use to help their young driver.
Topics covered include:
- Commentary driving;
- The importance of maintaining involvement with their young driver (both learner and post licence):
- Various methods on how to be involved;
- Considerations for how their young person will learn to drive;
- What sort of car should their young person buy;
- Old versuss New cars - what the research says;
- The BRAKE driver-parent agreement; and
- Why the 6 months post licence is so dangerous for new drivers and what they as parents/carers need to do to reduce the risks.
During the parents'/carers' program we also cover some specific road rules as some parents'/carers' may have been driving for some time and may have forgotten those rules, or they may have commenced after they obtained their licences, for example: roundabouts.
We strongly urge parents/carers to attend and partake in the parents'/carers' program as their involvement in the safety of young drivers cannot be understated, the importance is just so high.
There are no costs to parents/carers to complete the course, nor for themselves and their young driver to be involved in BRAKE. The community has covered all costs for their young people and their families. All parents/carers have to do is participate.
BRAKE is available in those areas and schools listed on the front page. If your child attends a school in one of the areas listed and BRAKE is not available please feel free to approach your school and request they implement BRAKE.
Finally, the most important thing that a parent/carer can do is understand that your driving is the example that will be copied. At the bare minimum, try to make the example you set with your driving the very best it can be.
There is a substantial amount of information and positive, direct steps that parents/carers can take to assist young driver.
BRAKE will show you how.
If you are interested in implementing BRAKE in a new area there are a number of things you can do. You can contact BRAKE by any of the means under contact details tab, approach your school to gauge their interest and/or approach community groups, government or business in your area to sponsor BRAKE into your school and community.