Almost 150 students practiced their driving skills over the weekend through the BRAKES program held at Harper College in Palatine.

BRAKES, which stands for Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe, was established by world champion drag racer Doug Herbert after losing both of his sons in a car accident nine years ago.

The program uses former Secret Service agents, police officers and professional race car drivers as instructors to help teach teenagers about car control and vehicle dynamics.

“This is four-hour, hands-on defensive driving school that is geared toward young drivers, ages 15 to 19. We are teaching safe driver awareness,” said Matt Reilly, director of operations for the BRAKES charity. “Once (students) get a chance to get out there and start driving, they realize that we are not your typical basic driver’s ed program, but an advanced training program. They really have a great time.”

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