CHANDLER, Ariz. (Jan. 29, 2003) — Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire is one of three sponsors for a nationwide youth driver's education program that is starting this year.
The tire maker has partnered with Driver's Edge, a non-profit organization formed by professional racecar driver Jeff Payne, that aims to lower the number of traffic accidents involving youths through hands-on driver education.
The program kicks off in the Phoenix area in February and will travel to 11 other cities throughout the year. The other cities include Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, New York, Washington D.C./Baltimore, Detroit, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. The program was established in Las Vegas in 1999 and held its first local program there in 2002.
The sponsorship is part of the Nashville-based tire maker's 2003 Drive & Learn program, BFS said. Sprint and the American Automobile Association also are sponsors.
“Driver's Edge had phenomenal success and widespread support when it was introduced in Las Vegas last year,” said Mark A. Emkes, chairman, CEO and president of BFS North American Tire. “We're confident that it will continue to succeed as the program expands throughout the United States.”
Last year 1,200 teens participated in the Las Vegas program. The nonprofit expects 6,000 teens to participate this year.
The free program, which depends largely on corporate sponsorships, is aimed at teaching teens how to handle vehicles in various real-life conditions to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes among teens. Topics include evasive lane changes, skid control, rain and ice driving, tire blowouts and front- vs. rear-wheel drive vehicles.