PATTERSON, Calif. — Love’s Travel Stops recently made a donation to the Patterson High School Truck Driving Program to help create a distracted/impaired driving course utilizing the program’s golf cart.
In 2017, Patterson High School in Patterson, California, became one of the first high schools in the nation to offer commercial driver license (CDL) training as a career and technical education elective course, according to a news release.
The one-year class meets Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Entry Level Driver Training theory standards and prepares students for the commercial learner’s permit through an interactive, hands-on approach.
The program utilizes two Advanced Training Systems simulators as well as a golf cart to teach backing skills.
Dave Dein, program coordinator, said that the Love’s donation not only provided the resources needed to purchase the course infrastructure, but also allowed them to buy a pair of Fatal Vision goggles designed to replicate the effects of being under the influence of alcohol.
“It is so important to give students an experience to emphasize the dangers of distracted/impaired driving rather than just telling them not to do it,” Dein said.
At the conclusion of the driving course, the students read personal stories of people who were impacted by distracted or impaired driving in order to put faces behind the statistics.
Dein said this made the lesson more meaningful to students.
Dein is also co-founder of the nonprofit Next Generation in Trucking Association (NGTA), whose mission is to educate youth on the trucking industry and to help high schools — free-of-charge — in replicating his program.
To date, NGTA has worked with more than 150 high schools across the nation interested in starting CDL programs, according to Dein.
The amount of the Love’s donation wasn’t specified.
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