Charity Founder Doug Herbert Confirms October 29-30 for Free Teen Safe Driving School While Serving as Grand Marshal of NHRA Summernationals


  • Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and National Hot Rod Association support B.R.A.K.E.S.’ return to the Garden State
  • October date to be followed by multiple B.R.A.K.E.S. schools at Raceway Park in 2017


CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 14, 2016 – After an overwhelmingly positive reception at the track in April, the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) Teen Pro-Active Driving School announced it is returning to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, October 29-30. With enthusiastic support from Raceway Park ownership, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) and the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the dates were confirmed by B.R.A.K.E.S. founder and multi-time Top Fuel drag racing champion Doug Herbert while he served as Grand Marshal for the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown over the weekend.

“Serving as Grand Marshal of the NHRA Summernationals in Englishtown gave us a great opportunity to announce the return of the B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School to New Jersey,” said Herbert, who founded B.R.A.K.E.S. in memory of his sons, Jon and James, who were tragically killed in a car crash in 2008. “Car crashes are the number-one cause of death among teens in this country, and we started B.R.A.K.E.S. eight years ago to try to do something about that. We trained about 50 kids in that first year. This year, with the help of partners like Raceway Park, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the NHRA and many others, we’ve surpassed the 20,000 mark, and we’re still accelerating.”

As with all B.R.A.K.E.S. schools, the October event at Raceway Park will consist of four half-day classes, each including a classroom session followed by multiple hands-on, behind-the-wheel driving exercises – all free of charge and all taught by professional instructors.


“As an official NHRA track, our original slogan was ‘Dedicated to Safety,’” said Raceway Park co-owner Alex Napoliello. “We have a long history of community outreach and engaging with kids in the tri-state area. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have B.R.A.K.E.S. come back to our facility and continue their important mission, which is very much in line with our heritage here at Raceway Park.”

Along with panic braking, accident avoidance, car control and many other important topics, the B.R.A.K.E.S. curriculum places strong emphasis on the dangers of distracted driving, which is also the core focus of the NJMVC’s JustDrive campaign.

“Studies show that 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were driving while distracted – and those are just the crashes where the distractions were known,” said NJMVC deputy chief administrator Jeanne Ashmore. “Given these statistics, continuing to talk or text while driving is just plain irresponsible behavior, and we hope to spread that message to newer drivers through our partnership with the B.R.A.K.E.S. program and our ongoing JustDrive campaign.”

NHRA senior vice president of racing operations, Graham Light explained the sporting organization’s longstanding support of B.R.A.K.E.S. saying, “NHRA was formed in 1951 as a way to get kids off the street, and that mission of safety still exists today. We applaud Doug for taking his personal tragedy and creating B.R.A.K.E.S. to help so many kids around the country. He’s made a difference and saved lives, and we’re very honored to help him in that cause.”



In 2008, top fuel drag racing champion Doug Herbert suffered every parent’s worst nightmare – the loss of his two sons, Jon age 17 and James age 12, in a car crash. Doug took his personal tragedy and created the 501 (c)(3) non-profit B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) Teen Pro-Active Driving School. In the past eight years, more than 20,000 teens from 35 states and three countries have graduated from B.R.A.K.E.S.’ intensive half-day training course, which is free of charge and features hands-on skills exercises taught by professional instructors in a fleet of new vehicles donated by Kia Motors America. The course maintains a low three-to-one student-to-instructor ratio and requires at least one parent to attend with each teen. According to a recent study, B.R.A.K.E.S. graduates are 64 percent less likely to be in a crash in their first three years of driving. For more information or to register for a school, visit www.putonthebrakes.org.