After years of promoting the Route 1000 program on the NDFB website, I finally had an opportunity to sit in on a class with my son.
The class was held in Bismarck and was well-attended. A North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper was on hand to talk about driving defensively, what to do when you see flashing lights, the point system for young people, and the fact that he had more than 30 citations when he was young. ; )
It took me back to my high school driving days. Oh, I didn’t get 30 citations, but I definitely related when he was talking about what happens in a rollover.
It was Saturday, April 1, 1978. We had to go to school on a Saturday because we missed so many days dues to snowstorms. I picked up my cousin and was driving on a gravel road I hadn’t traveled all winter. I came over a hill and hit washboards. The car started bouncing around and being inexperienced, I panicked, slammed on the brakes and next thing you know, I’m seeing stuff flying in front of me as we roll into the ditch.
The first thing I did when we came to a rest, driver’s side on the ground, was holler for my cousin. She thankfully responded and we were able to crawl out of the back of the hatch of my Ford Pinto relatively unharmed. (I did cut the bridge of my nose and was bleeding, but it was pretty minor.) That was before the mandatory seatbelt laws and we were NOT wearing seatbelts. I still shudder when I think about how bad it could have been.
Here is the scariest part. I had just finished a defensive driving course not more than two weeks before the accident.
And here I was, at a safe driving course, with my son. All I can think as I’m listening to the trooper talk about some of the things he has seen is how dumb I was and how I hope my son is smarter (I know he is) about driving than I was. And, even more to the point, if someone is driving dumb around him he has a better understanding of what to do.
And, hey, the $500 after 1,000 days of safe driving isn’t a bad perk, either!
If you want to provide your teen driver an additional incentive to drive safely, consider enrolling them in a Route 1000 class. There are still two fall classes left, one in Minot, one in Rugby. Spring classes will be posted on the NDFB Route 1000 page soon.