In 2008 Speedway Children's Charities supported B.R.A.K.E.S. in various ways. The organization chose B.R.A.K.E.S. as a beneficiary of their annual golf tournament and also partnered with B.R.A.K.E.S. for a Benefit Dinner, which was a huge success.
B.R.A.K.E.S., which stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded by NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert in memory of his two sons who were killed in a car accident. By training and educating teenage drivers and their parents, the foundation aims to promote safe driving in an attempt to prevent injuries and save lives.
In 2009, with the funds donated by Speedway Children's Charities, B.R.A.K.E.S. started the Teen Pro-Active Driving School, which is designed to give young drivers the dynamic experience of handling a vehicle in adverse driving conditions and a controlled environment. Thanks to generous foundations such as Speedway Children's Charities, individual donors and helpful volunteers, the organization is able to hold these driving schools free of charge for all parents and teens who wish to attend.
The organization had seven dates scheduled at zMAX Dragway throughout 2009 and also held two driving schools in South Carolina, one in Spartanburg at the BMW Performance Center and one in Columbia at the National Guard Armory. By the end of 2009 the organization will have conducted 22 sessions of the driving school and provided behind the wheel training to nearly 500 young drivers and their parents.
Feedback about the safe driving program has been extremely positive. Since similar safe driving programs for teens can cost upwards of two or three hundred dollars, parents and teens write to B.R.A.K.E.S. to express their gratitude for this free training, which many of them would not be able to afford if it weren't for B.R.A.K.E.S.
Many teens and parents have written to the organization to share an experience they've had where they successfully avoided an accident because of the accident avoidance training they received from B.R.A.K.E.S.
One parent wrote, "We are so greatly appreciative of your services. My 17-year-old daughter would not drive because she was afraid of driving due to accidents that she sees on the local news. After your training she feels she's ready. This is such a milestone for us because she will be attending college next year and driving is very crucial. Your instructors had everything to do with her decision in wanting to learn to drive now. Thanks again for what you were able to do for my family free of charge."