The safety of our roads depends on the quality of our drivers.
When new drivers are improperly instructed on the fundamentals of driving, and the “rules of the road” it negatively affects everyone’s safety on Missouri roadways. Unfortunately, schools have been eliminating driver education from their curriculum nationwide; including schools in Springfield. In September, 2019, Mercy Hospital phased out their driving education program costing Southwest Missourian’s their most trusted driver training program.
A lack of community resources means parents are forced to shoulder the responsibility of driver training. Parents understand introducing their teenager to driving can be a unique challenge. Scheduling time for Parent/Teen driving instruction is difficult and lessons often create stress, conflict and tensions in the family unit.
We’re convinced there is a better way to develop better drivers.
In September, 2019, Sergeant Todd Vermillion, a current law enforcement officer and Dan Bracker, a retired Lieutenant with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Partnered and opened Premier Driving Academy.
With nearly 50 years of combined law enforcement experience, they recognize the inherent risks involved in operating motor vehicles, particularly for young, inexperienced drivers. They collaborated with industry leaders and administrators and developed a proven curriculum that makes their student drivers the perfect candidates for success.
Premier’s teen driving program includes six, one hour, in-car driving lessons. Every lesson is tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each individual student driver. The curriculum is based on a four step lesson plan; instructor explains, as student performs the task, instructor checks for understanding, student explains, then evaluated. The student will succeed in driving with repetition and practice. The goal at Premier is to develop skilled drivers for a lifetime.
Dan Bracker, Lieutenant, retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 2018, with more than 26 years of service. During his 10 year tenure as Public Information Officer, Dan presented driver education classes at numerous southwest Missouri high schools. He has presented highway safety and personal safety education programs to many civic, and private industry groups. Most importantly, he passionately instructed both daughters to drive.
Todd Vermillion, Sergeant, currently a law enforcement officer with over 24 years of experience. Todd was a Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) specialist instructor in the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (E.V.O.C.) for over 11 years; training law enforcement officers in the safe operation of police vehicles during high stress, high speed maneuvers while providing in-car instruction. He also taught his three children to drive safely for life.