Love’s Travel Stops recently made a donation to the Patterson High School Truck Driving Program that enabled the California school to 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 CDL training as a Career and Technical Education elective course. The one-year class meets the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Entry Level Driver Training theory standards and prepares students for the Commercial Learner's Permit, and does so in an interactive, hands-on approach.
Dave Dein, the program’s coordinator and instructor, said it includes the use of two state-of-the-art Advanced Training Systems simulators as well as a golf cart to teach backing skills. The Love’s donation not only provided the resources needed to purchase the course infrastructure but also a pair of Fatal Vision goggles designed to replicate the effects of being under the influence of alcohol, according to Dein
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"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," said Dein. To make the lesson meaningful rather than just a fun activity, 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 staggering statistics, said Dein.
Dein is co-founder of the nonprofit, the Next Generation in Trucking Association, whose mission is to educate youth on the trucking industry and to help high schools free-of-charge in replicating the Patterson program. NGT has worked with over 150 high schools across the nation interested in starting CDL programs.