Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville offering free course to teach teens driving safety

Emma Gawor uses the driving simulator at the Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville-East. (Submitted photo)

Emma Gawor uses the driving simulator at the Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville-East. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Bailey

The Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville is one of only two clubs in Indiana offering a course to help teens learn how drive safely before they ever get behind the wheel of a car.

The club has partnered with the UPS Foundation to offer the Road Code program, a free, three-hour driving safety course that includes trained instructors, videos and a driving simulator. The next class will be offered Nov. 25 at the club’s east campus, 1575 Mulberry St.

“It’s a wonderful program to not just teach kids how to be a driver, but how to be a safer driver,” said Glenn Sanford, unit director at the Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville-East.

Two driving simulators at the club allow teens to learn the difference between good and bad driving habits in a safe environment.

“There’s an impaired driving program that shows you what it’s like to be under the influence of alcohol and try to operate a motor vehicle,” Sanford said. “There are delayed response times and over-calculation on steering and things like that.”

The UPS Foundation has been working with Boys & Girls Club of America since 2009 to develop the program.

“The UPS Foundation, their experience is more with the technical side of things, where the Boys & Girls Club has the experience with how to best reach young people. So it was a great partnership that way,” Sanford said.

In order for this program to continue being offered, Boys & Girls Club of Zionsville must continue filling classes and fulfilling grant requirements, which has not been a problem so far.

“Currently, we’re still under that test cycle. The first test cycle of it was only three years long, and it was a to see who was able to meet their grant requirements,” Sanford said. “And our club was one of the fortunate ones to not only reach that goal, but to exceed it.”

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