Event to help teens improve driving skills planned for Feb. 25

Parents wanting hands-on practice are also welcome

The Operation Driver Excellence event for high-schoolers to improve their driving skills will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at Maui High School.

It is sponsored by DTRIC Insurance and Par Hawaii, a fuel and refining company, and is free and open to students and parents who want to get traffic safety tips and hands-on experiences. There will be several learning stations on tire safety, blind zones around commercial vehicles, properly loading and hitching a trailer, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and impaired driving from the effects of alcohol, marijuana and concussions.

There also will be optional hands-on driving courses:

• Driving Skills Course, which includes precision driving, perpendicular parking, reverse perpendicular parking and parallel parking challenges designed to sharpen a young driver’s skills.

• Distracted Driving Course, designed to give students and parents a distracted driving experience in a safe and controlled environment.

• Collision Avoidance Course, which allows the driver to experience having to avoid an obstacle in the middle of a simulated road.

“Driver inexperience, distracted driving, speeding and other forms of dangerous driving behavior are the leading cause of serious accidents among teens,” said Jan Meeker, resource teacher for the state Department of Education’s driver education program. “Proper instruction on safe driving through driver education programs and events like Operation Driver Excellence can help prevent these tragedies.”

Similar events will be held on Hawaii island and Oahu later this year.

For more information, contact Tim Jeffs at Maui High School at 727-4177.