THE BRAKE PROGRAM
Teenage road users are three times more likely to be killed or maimed in road crashes than adult drivers. It’s a disturbing statistic.
Helping new drivers understand risk is the key.
BRAKE educates teenagers about road risks in their high school with an award-winning, eight-part resilience training program that can save young lives.
OUR PURPOSE & OUR RESPONSIBILITY
In my 30 years as a teacher, I have seen many attempts to help students become safer drivers. BRAKE is, without doubt, the best I have seen and deserves the support of all who would like to make an active contribution to all of us being safer drivers.
Curriculum Leader- Pathways and VET
Saint Augustine’s College
We have a responsibility to guide them.
We believe that providing fact-based knowledge to teen drivers is the best way to reduce youth deaths and trauma from car crashes.
That is why BRAKE is taught to students in their schools by their regular teachers. After all, school is where they learn best. Their peers learn with them – a shared experience that is all the more effective.
Research suggests that those parents or 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. BRAKE has developed a parent/carers program which can be provided to the school at no charge.
The BRAKE Driver Awareness Program was developed with schools in mind. The program is constructed and presented in a way that, with in-service training provided by BRAKE, teachers within schools can facilitate the program.
Community groups support BRAKE in so many varied and important ways and their tireless efforts, and of those individuals who make up these groups, cannot be overstated. There are various ways that community groups can assist to implement BRAKE within their communities
SCHOOLS SINCE 2006
The BRAKE Driver Awareness program has been recognised by the Queensland Curriculum & Assessment Authority and approved to be part of the Year 11 coursework.
Students who complete the BRAKE program are eligible for an extra one QCE point.
Information about the BRAKE Driver Awareness course
Here is some information about the way the BRAKE course is structured, the research that underpins it and some of the resources we provide as well as the readily available equipment needed to teach the course.
The facilities required to present a BRAKE course are generally available in most schools, community centres and sports club. These include a laptop computer and a video projector or large screen TV.
There are five aspects to the BRAKE program, each represented by a letter of the program name. Behaviour, Risk, Attitude, Knowledge, Education. A main problem concerning young drivers is that they do not accept that they are at risk.
Young people (under 25) are involved in proportionally more car crashes than any other age group. Recent findings in brain development indicate that the human brain may not be fully capable of recognising risks, and predicting consequences, until around age 25.
ARE NOT FULLY DEVELOPED
Teenagers are a work in progress where their physical development runs ahead of their cognitive skills.
Young adults are undergoing massive physiological and social change. Independence is often expressed in the ability to drive, even while the adult concepts of risk, consequences and competence are still developing.
What age group is the BRAKE training aimed at?
Research has shown that the optimal time to educate young drivers is just before they get their learner driver’s license.
With this is in mind and considering the introduction of new young driver regulations in Queensland, the optimal target age is 15 years to 17 years, and the program has been developed for that age group.
We focus on long-term resilience training that helps protect novice drivers during the initial months of unsupervised road use.
Are there traumatic pictures or videos in the course?
BRAKE is not about scare tactics or trying to frighten people to do the right thing. It is about education and knowledge, how to behave, what attitude you require to be a safe driver, coupled with accountability and responsibility. Our aim is to provide information and resilience training for long-term behaviour change in novice road users.
With this in mind we do not show graphic videos or pictures of injured people. The most potent film we show is a passenger responsibility video that highlights what a passenger can and should do to prevent a crash if they are in a car with a dangerous driver.
We also have a number of slides to remind participants that some of the concepts we talk about may make the student sad or upset, and we constantly recommend that they talk to a BRAKE team member or a school representative if something upsets them.
How is the BRAKE program presented?
The BRAKE program is presented as a “PowerPoint” delivery, segmented into 8 modules. Most modules take approximately 1 hour to present. The modules are based on a multimedia and interactive approach utilising videos, slides, questions and role-playing.
Some programs will be delivered over two days, with 4 modules per day, and others will be delivered at the rate of one module per week during class time.
Schools are free to choose other schedules, however, research has shown that delivery over a longer period is far more beneficial for information retention.
The aim of BRAKE is to provide information that builds long-term resilience and serve to inform real-world behaviour in the initial months of unsupervised road use.
Do you conduct driving instruction for students?
BRAKE does not conduct driver instruction classes.
BRAKE is a community-based organization that has developed courses for teaching students about how to approach the risks they will encounter when they first start driving.
We do not take a position on if a young driver is best taught by their parents or by a professional driving instructor.
Research suggests that it is the quality of the instruction that is a most important indicator to the long term success of a young adult in avoiding traffic incidents – in so far as the choice of family-based instruction or professional instruction is actually statistically significant.
By attending a BRAKE program, young adults will significantly reduce their chances of being involved in traffic crashes simply because they understand how to assess and control driving risk in themselves and their companions.
Our training is designed to provide life-saving information with long-term resilience.
Why do you say that parent involvement important?
The parent session provides an insight into what the students have been taught. The session also outlines the concepts of BRAKE, the driver-parent agreement, commentary driving and how the parents can help young people remain safe on our roads. Research has shown that parents/carers mentoring their young driver can reduce the chance of a crash quite significantly.
Furthermore, research suggests that parent/carer involvement with all aspects of the novice driver starting their driving, from learning to drive to choosing a car to ride as a passenger even after the learner has gained their license, all reduce the chance that the novice driver will crash.
The parent’s program also is the opportunity to show young drivers that you are proactive in their driving education and you understand the concepts and learning process they are going through. It also gives you support when you need to address some of the “bad “ driving habits they may develop.
How are schools supported?
When a school wishes to implement the program, they must identify a number of teachers who will present the program. BRAKE then provides introduction and training sessions.
There is a comprehensive curriculum guide that assists qualified teachers to deliver the program, which includes step-by-step lesson plans, lists of outcomes and objectives, and details explaining the background material.
Teachers and schools are encouraged to contact the local BRAKE Coordinator to access support or advice should it be required, by e-mail, phone or our website.
RESILIANT, LONG-TERM LEARNING
In post graduation surveys, 80% of students completing the BRAKE course said: “The BRAKE course taught me about safe, responsible driving and passenger responsibility.”
91% of students said they would: “recommend this course to all young people that are about to drive.”