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Safe teen driver events come to Gaston

Former Hollywood stunt driver coaches students at local high school

Students from Gaston High School will get a crash course in safe driving with events starting March 18.

A fast-paced, multimedia assembly for 250 students will be presented about the dangers of texting while driving on Friday, March 18 at 10:30 a.m. The assembly will communicate vital information through video, Power Point presentations and activities.

Driving instructor Steve Buckley will be at the wheel.

Buckley, a teen driving instructor and Hollywood stunt driver since 1979, will help students change their attitudes about driving and develop an understanding that driving is a job that carries life-and-death consequences. The assembly will also address the difficult issue of speaking up when confronted with friends who text and drive.

Buckley is an instructor at two international stunt driving schools and a local and federal law enforcement driving instructor. He started his career as a stunt driver on the TV show 'The Dukes of Hazzard' and has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, TLC, Speed Network and A and E television. He is currently a stunt driver on the TV show 'Leverage.'

On March 30, 31 and April 1, students will receive training while they 'drive' in the state-of-the-art Oregon Driver Education Center driving simulator as part of driver permit preparation and defensive driving classes.

Superintendent David Beasley said that while the event had been planned long before the March 8 accident involving a school bus and a trailer - in which no pupils were seriously injured - he hopes students will take the events seriously.

'Teenagers tend to think they are not vulnerable, so this experience is designed to change that perception,' Beasley said.