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CoachNolting

We need to do a better Job...

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We need to do a better job of educating our young people on drivers education....

 

I have seen in the past 3 months a huge increase in the number of student athletes dying in car accidents.  We lost 3 young people at North Central, Then Terre Haute lost a student, then East Central and now most recently, KeShawn Smith of Bethany Christian.  Admittedly, I do not know the specifics behind each accident.  In North Central case, excessive speed was the issue, I read in KeShawn's case his vehicle crossed the center line.  I think we need to take a long look at our drivers education process.  When I was in school, you had to log hours upon hours in the car with the instructor.  Nowadays, parents are just signing off on drive time hours and kids are getting behind the wheel.  I had to have a discussion with a student this year while I was at NC about stopping when the school bus arms where extended -  even if you are on the other side of the road.  

I do not know the answers... but I am saddened and sickened that we are losing so many young people behind the wheel and I am left with 100 unanswered questions in the aftermath of devastation..  Its been 6 student athlete related deaths behind the wheel in Indiana since December that I'm aware of.  Players reading this forum.  Please slow down, Please wait to send the text, wait to change that song on your phone, Please do not drive distracted.  We love you and when we lose you, please understand a piece of us dies as well.  When I was notified by Kegan's mother he has passed, I collapsed, my soul and spirit was crushed.  I can honestly say that it changed me as a coach, and as a man.  Speaking at his service was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I know that I never want to hang another jersey in my office of a player we lost too soon -  We need to do a better job as educators, parents, and adults of helping our young people understand and respect the privileged of driving.  We need to take the extra time as parents to make sure we are truly preparing our young people as they get behind the wheel. 

 

We need to do a better job...            

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22 minutes ago, CoachNolting said:

We need to do a better job of educating our young people on drivers education....

 

I have seen in the past 3 months a huge increase in the number of student athletes dying in car accidents.  We lost 3 young people at North Central, Then Terre Haute lost a student, then East Central and now most recently, KeShawn Smith of Bethany Christian.  Admittedly, I do not know the specifics behind each accident.  In North Central case, excessive speed was the issue, I read in KeShawn's case his vehicle crossed the center line.  I think we need to take a long look at our drivers education process.  When I was in school, you had to log hours upon hours in the car with the instructor.  Nowadays, parents are just signing off on drive time hours and kids are getting behind the wheel.  I had to have a discussion with a student this year while I was at NC about stopping when the school bus arms where extended -  even if you are on the other side of the road.  

I do not know the answers... but I am saddened and sickened that we are losing so many young people behind the wheel and I am left with 100 unanswered questions in the aftermath of devastation..  Its been 6 student athlete related deaths behind the wheel in Indiana since December that I'm aware of.  Players reading this forum.  Please slow down, Please wait to send the text, wait to change that song on your phone, Please do not drive distracted.  We love you and when we lose you, please understand a piece of us dies as well.  When I was notified by Kegan's mother he has passed, I collapsed, my soul and spirit was crushed.  I can honestly say that it changed me as a coach, and as a man.  Speaking at his service was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  I know that I never want to hang another jersey in my office of a player we lost too soon -  We need to do a better job as educators, parents, and adults of helping our young people understand and respect the privileged of driving.  We need to take the extra time as parents to make sure we are truly preparing our young people as they get behind the wheel. 

 

We need to do a better job...            

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Thank you Travis.

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Personally, at least from what I have seen, I have noticed that a lot of kids get their license as soon as they possibly can when they may not be ready for it. I think there is incredible pressure these days for a kid to have their license by the time they turn 16.  If it’s not after school obligations they have, it’s a job they have to travel to. Besides all of this, it’s looked down upon to ride the bus as an upperclassmen or not have a car already. 

 

Bottomline, I just can’t help but think we are rushing many of these young kids into responsibilities they are not fully ready for....that’s not to say some of them are not ready, as I have seen plenty of kids more responsible than young adults my age.  

In no way am I saying any of these tragic deaths are a result of this, I’m only saying we, as a whole, should look to understand that not everyone matures the same and let these kids know they don’t have to get their license at the youngest possible age.  It’s okay if they wait until 16 to get their permit and it’s okay if they get their probationary license at 18. 

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Well said Coach. Its terribly sad that these poor kids are gone so soon in life. I know we are limited as to what we can do as Coaches when it comes to driving control, but I think we can make a difference. In the past, the place I coached had a gated entrance about 150 yards away from the field house. My coaching staff would stress the importance of responsible and smart driving. If a kid came in to the parking lot at too high of a speed or acting foolishly, then we would give one warning before then revoking the parking privileges of that student in the facility. Essentially, they would have to walk from the gate area to the field house to and from practice everyday once they broke the rules. A kid eventually gets tired of that additional walk and carrying his belongings that far everyday. While this is just a small step, it is one that might make a kid think twice about driving foolishly. I hope that as coaches we can continue to find more ways to help these young men and women be more responsible in their lives, including their time spent on the road. 

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How places still offer on site classrooms?   

I know at Rensselaer, Coach Meeks has continued the traditional Drivers Ed course as it was made for in the 80s.   Full on classroom, videos, discussions, but what I think really is good is he brings in County/City/State police who come with the pictures of what fatalities look like, not from a movie, or cheesy video, actual photos from crash scenes and stories of HOW and WHY it happened.  It is powerful stuff.   He runs a session in Winter and Summer.   

How many families choose to have their son/daughters take it online?  

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13 minutes ago, Coach Nowlin said:

How places still offer on site classrooms?   

I know at Rensselaer, Coach Meeks has continued the traditional Drivers Ed course as it was made for in the 80s.   Full on classroom, videos, discussions, but what I think really is good is he brings in County/City/State police who come with the pictures of what fatalities look like, not from a movie, or cheesy video, actual photos from crash scenes and stories of HOW and WHY it happened.  It is powerful stuff.   He runs a session in Winter and Summer.   

How many families choose to have their son/daughters take it online?  

Coach-

Is this open to just Rennselaer students or anyone of age?

Thanks

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anyone:

I believe NN students have utilized it.  

I believe still under $400 for program as well 

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2 minutes ago, Coach Nowlin said:

anyone:

I believe NN students have utilized it.  

I believe still under $400 for program as well 

Couple years, may have to revisit......yikes does time fly.

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In the good old days my government high school alma mater had a driver's ed classroom, another room with 6-8 of those driving simulator pod things, and an outdoor driving course surrounded by a chain link fence.  The course also had a tower an instructor could climb to view the course from above.   Quite the setup now that I think about it, especially for a little 'ole rural high school.

 

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put drivers ed back in the schools taught by teachers not some private company 

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We live in a rural area. My kids drove a considerable amount before they were 16, with me. I felt it was important to impart wisdom I had gained from driving for years, and not just relegate them to standard driver's ed. I grew up the same way, drove box trucks, small trailers, large trailers, etc. from the time I was probably 11-12 years old. 

The one thing I always tried to impart on them was focus. If you make a mistake on your homework, you get a lower grade, if you make a mistake on the athletic field, you get a seat on the bench, no big deal, but if you make a mistake on the road, it may cost you your life. That's a big price to pay. I really tried to discourage texting and driving. And the were told under no uncertain terms, drinking and driving would be the end of their driving career. 

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I remember taking Driver's Ed as just another course.  I had it during the spring semester.    During one of the actual driving sessions (the car was donated by a local Chevy dealership, btw)  I got to drive the varsity boy's basketball coach to his doctor's appointment.  Another time drove the JV basketball/Golf coach to the local golf course so he could talk to them about something or another.   

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8 hours ago, billybob said:

put drivers ed back in the schools taught by teachers not some private company 

I know of one up my way that has been very good and led by retired teachers/coaches who own the business.   

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Myself and 3 other retired teachers work for a local Driver Education company that took over when Twin Lakes decided not to offer driver education any more because of the expense of the program.  The state of Indiana is one of a hand full of states that no longer requires or provides money to local schools for education credit for a LIFETIME SKILL.  When I taught in South Carolina every student was scheduled into driver education.  The school was a larger school and had 6 driver education instructors, also taught other courses, BUT the state provided funds for this.  Indiana no longer sees the need of driver education in the school system but encourages schools to drop their programs and let outside companies take this over.  Last I was aware of over half of the school corporations in the state have dropped their summer DE programs.   We have laws that if a student takes DE he/she can get their license 6 months earlier BUT I have found at least half of our local students just get their permit and wait the extra 6 months to get their license.  Meanwhile we have students from Frontier, Tri County, West Central, Lafayette, Logansport, Rensselaer, Winamac, Pioneer, North White, Delphi, and Carroll that come to us because we are open year round and can meet their needs as several of these schools only offer DE in the summer OR have dropped their programs all together.    The next big problem, and I take my hat off to Chris Meeks at Rensselaer, is that the state now encourages students to take the classroom portion of DE Online.  The company I work for offers the classroom opportunity but we can not get anyone to sign up for the classroom. Having looked at that program I do not believe it is near as good as what Chris is doing.  All the small things he does, outside speakers/discussion/examples, etc., are much more effective that an online class a student can do in a couple of weeks with no verbal feedback.  It is no wonder Indiana continues to be one of the leaders nationally in student accidents.  We still require 6 hours in the car with and instructor and the 50 hour log with parents that to many just sign off on.  I don't know what the answer is other than bringing a LIFETIME SKILL back into the school setting or changing the laws where students must complete a DE course.  I also believe moving the age back to 17 is a good thing to look at and if you do not complete a DE course then wait until you are 18 to get a license.  I know of to many situations here and in other local communities where parents tried to teach their children to drive while they themselves had forgotten many rules of the road but thought they could handle it, only to see their child be involved in a deadly wreck.  These are my opinions.  Disagree if you wish. I have said to much.  

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Put the phone away.  I wish the consequence for anyone under 18 who is caught texting and driving would be to lose their license for 1 year.  I see it in our school parking lot every single day.

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11 hours ago, Impartial_Observer said:

We live in a rural area. My kids drove a considerable amount before they were 16, with me. I felt it was important to impart wisdom I had gained from driving for years, and not just relegate them to standard driver's ed. I grew up the same way, drove box trucks, small trailers, large trailers, etc. from the time I was probably 11-12 years old. 

The one thing I always tried to impart on them was focus. If you make a mistake on your homework, you get a lower grade, if you make a mistake on the athletic field, you get a seat on the bench, no big deal, but if you make a mistake on the road, it may cost you your life. That's a big price to pay. I really tried to discourage texting and driving. And the were told under no uncertain terms, drinking and driving would be the end of their driving career. 

I agree with the above. It all starts in the home. 

Unfortunately, creating good driving habits takes time, and the current programs in place don’t allow for this..if they ever did. Parents need to emphasize good habits well before drivers ed and throughout the adolescent years. 

Yes, it was beneficial to have summer programs offered through high schools, but once you completed that class at 15,16 yrs old, there was never another structured course that emphasized driver safety. Even if there was, I’m not sure how much it would help. For example, what have the drug-related (D.A.R.E.) programs done for our youth? Little to no impact, in SW Indiana at least (which is a whole different subject). 

In the end, we are all human and can make mistakes behind the wheel at any time. That’s just the way it is. But our youth are more susceptible to such mistakes. Maybe increasing the legal age to 18 is part of the solution? I don’t know.

 

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22 hours ago, Coach Nowlin said:

How places still offer on site classrooms?   

I know at Rensselaer, Coach Meeks has continued the traditional Drivers Ed course as it was made for in the 80s.   Full on classroom, videos, discussions, but what I think really is good is he brings in County/City/State police who come with the pictures of what fatalities look like, not from a movie, or cheesy video, actual photos from crash scenes and stories of HOW and WHY it happened.  It is powerful stuff.   He runs a session in Winter and Summer.   

How many families choose to have their son/daughters take it online?  

Probably very few nowadays.  We had a full-blown drivers-ed department when I went to school.  There was a fleet of driving instructors and automobiles that took out three students per car to make sure that driving hours were clocked and that driving took place in different conditions ... residential, back winding country roads, and highway.  We even had a full simulator on site as well and you had to log simulator hours too.  Had to score a certain level on the simulator before they'd let you get into the car with a driving instructor.

9 hours ago, HoopsCoach said:

Put the phone away.  I wish the consequence for anyone under 18 who is caught texting and driving would be to lose their license for 1 year.  I see it in our school parking lot every single day.

I like the idea of making it illegal for under 18 to have a phone out while driving ...  or perhaps it has to be affixed to the dash at a particular point that makes texting much less likely, but still allows for something like GPS use.  Unfortunately, the law allows for calling and driving, playing music and driving, and the various variants of having a phone in hand as a distraction which make it almost impossible for law enforcement, especially in Indiana, to make texting and driving stops stick ... except after-the-fact in crash situations which is kind of late.  If the idea was no phone out while the car is engaged, it would make it easier for law enforcement to make it stick.  Might also help kids develop a new habit so that, by the time they are 18, they are more comfortable waiting on using the phone while driving.

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11 hours ago, HoopsCoach said:

Put the phone away.  I wish the consequence for anyone under 18 who is caught texting and driving would be to lose their license for 1 year.  I see it in our school parking lot every single day.

Coach.   I see this on the road every day.   I spend a lot of my time driving from client to client.   The number of times I see people, mostly younger, but not always, texting while driving is scary.  I can tell most of the time as from 5 car lengths away is someone is texting while driving.   I get very defensive when I see that.  I pull up next to them, or they me, and it confirms my suspicions.

KEEP THE PHONES PUT AWAY WHILE DRIVING YOUNG PEOPLE!!!!!

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13 hours ago, CoachSnyder said:

Myself and 3 other retired teachers work for a local Driver Education company that took over when Twin Lakes decided not to offer driver education any more because of the expense of the program. 

Mr. T's Driving School in Frankfort seems to be raking in the cash since I don't believe any Clinton County school offers DE anymore.  The course is around $400.  I would assume the liability insurance these driving schools have to maintain is a pretty big expense, however.

 

 

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Been a drive instructor in NW Indiana for almost 10 years now, and I could probably write a book on what I've seen out there on the roads. Besides experience I think technology is one of the biggest factors involving accidents and lack of awareness. Texting and checking out social media seems to be more important than arriving somewhere safely. I also think there are a lot more drivers, everyone's in a rush, and have a lot less patience and courtesy when it comes to other drivers on the road. Kids as passengers also don't pay attention like we used to when we were younger, they are either on their phone or tablet and when it comes time for them to start driving they seem to be lacking from a road awareness stand point. It starts at home with good modeling from parent drivers, but there are also more single parent households where kids just don't get that time behind the wheel before they get their license which is so beneficial. 

I had a kid from Wheeler HS, who I had driven 2 or 3 times at the end of the summer or beginning of this school year. I probably told him at least 10 times on each of those drives watch your speed, you need to slow down, or actually used my brake on him. Drove him again later in the fall, and he was extremely cautious with his speed. What changed? Was it me repeating over and over to watch his speed? No. A girl leaving his school was involved in a 1 car crash, going well over the speed limit (in a 35 zone) lost control and hit a tree head on. That was what it took for him to realize he needs to watch his speed. Unfortunate it takes a loss of life for the reality to hit home for some of these kids.

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15 hours ago, HoopsCoach said:

Put the phone away.  I wish the consequence for anyone under 18 who is caught texting and driving would be to lose their license for 1 year.  I see it in our school parking lot every single day.

If I could like this 1 quadMillionth times I would

 

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On 2/28/2019 at 10:45 AM, Muda69 said:

In the good old days my government high school alma mater had a driver's ed classroom, another room with 6-8 of those driving simulator pod things, and an outdoor driving course surrounded by a chain link fence.  The course also had a tower an instructor could climb to view the course from above.   Quite the setup now that I think about it, especially for a little 'ole rural high school.

 

We had the same set up at my HS in North Dakota. I assume only the larger schools had, but DE was required for HS graduation so not sure how the smaller schools did it (we had REALLY small schools...like 40 kids in the top 4 grades small).

I have a 19-year old and a 17-year old that were in no hurry to get their licenses. The same is true for many of their classmates. The 19-year old has friends who still don't have their license and they aren't in a big hurry to get it. My 14-year old plans to get his permit ASAP though.

My oldest son did the classroom DE and while it was a pain for 2 weeks to get off work early and rush him there in rush hour to get him there on time. But it was done after 2 weeks. My middle son did the online version and he didn't complete it in the 6-months. He had to pay extra to extend the time twice but he finally completed it. The problem was it only took him 18-hours of online time. They still require 30 hours so we had to log in to a couple computers and watch 10 minute videos over and over to get to the 30 hours. Totally useless time. My youngest son plans to do the classroom version.

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Pretty much the same for me... at Linton everyone had to take Drivers Ed for so many weeks in the summer.  My Dad was an instructor.  THen it all stopped...and I think it was a financial limitation thing.. many years back.  I also think all the training in the world doesn't make up for just making a deadly mistake... such a being on the phone, or joking around in the car.. or just trying to show off for friends.. all of these have been causes for deadly community crushing deaths for young people..and old people alike.  Education first and foremost from parents to me would be a key.... but also maybe having a program of two in high school that blatantly shows the results of such disasters....  maybe that would stick in their minds next time the cell rings or someone challenges you to something you know it wrong to do.... Seems these accidents happen on a regular basis.  We had a cheerleader killed in the 90's in Linton when 2 cars crashed on a rural road at a bridge... neither car would back down.  Terrible. 

Nice post Travis... the North Central community has suffered a lot of tragedies over the years....

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