Brazos Valley Burn Bans: The following counties are under a Burn Ban: Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Lee, Leon, Madison, Milam, Robertson, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Washington
You could consider it extreme driving school. A course run monthly by the Texas Engineering Extension Service gives people the chance to brush up on their current skills and learn a few more.
"We're basically taking some stuff that we use in police emergency driving and putting it into a civilian application," said TEEX Project Manager Kyle McNew.
In one of the tests, four cones simulate a road obstacle. Students going between 40 and 50 miles per hour have to get around them and stay within a certain area of the course.
"It's a big rush," said John Blackmon of Texas Task Force One, who took the five our course along with five colleagues. "It's just like somebody pulling out in front of you. You've got to dodge it.
"We do a lot of driving, and this kind of thing really helps us, especially since we drive such big trucks and we haul a lot of trailers," he continued. "It's very good to know how to avoid a collision before it, because we can hurt somebody bad on the road with a truck that size."
"I think they walk away from this having a better perspective of what they can realistically do in the motoring world, and what they probably should avoid," said McNew.
There are other exercises, like the evasive lane change. In that drill, drivers are given three options determined by the light. They can go left, right, or in some cases, they'll get both lights, meaning they have 1.6 seconds of reaction time to decide which way to go.
The course costs a little more than $300, but you might be able to get some of that back.
"What we've had is people who have successfully completed the course take their certificate, and at the discretion of their individual insurance agent, they have been given additional insurance discounts through their agent themselves," according to McNew.
"There's a lot of people that really don't know how to drive, and they should actually come out here and do this," said Blackmon.
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