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Our experienced and professional staff of instructors has special training and are highly skilled drivers.

DRIVE Staff

Questions or concerns about this webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at opihelpdesk@mt.gov or 406.444.0087
 

Montana DRIVE Workshops - Advanced Driver Education

 

DRIVE Fleet

Adults and teens can develop skills to respond safely to driving risks with Montana Driver In-Vehicle Education, on track in Lewistown, Montana since 1979. 

DRIVE

2016 DRIVE Calendar

Stay informed about Montana DRIVE.

Registration is open for the 2016 Summer Workshop season. One-Day Adult workshops run June 6 to August 11. The workshop fee is $325 for the adult workshop and reservations are not confirmed until paid in full. Early registrations received by March 5 will be discounted $10 per driver.

Review the workshop calendar and choose your preferred dates (include an alternate date in case your first choice is sold out). Please follow the registration guidelines below.

Registration for the One-Day Teen Workshops (offered July 18, 19 and 20) will begin in March.

All drivers attending the Montana DRIVE Workshop MUST pre-register and prepay the workshop.

  • Complete the Corporate Registration Form if the workshop is being paid by an employer or someone other than the participant. This form is also used to list up to 12 drivers.
  • Use the Individual Registration Form if you are attending the workshop and are responsible for payment. This is for single registrations only.

WHAT WE NEED: When you know your workshop dates and the number of drivers attending, you can register by phone, email, fax, or US mail. Submit a registration form or send the following via email:

  • Billing contact name, company or organization name, address, phone and email address.
  • Preferred method of payment (payment enclosed or bill me). Invoices are due within 30 days unless other arrangements have been made.
  • Workshop dates (preferred and alternate).
  • Preferred method of communication for invoicing and confirmations: email or US Mail
  • Names of driver(s), if known. You can hold space in a workshop before you know who is attending, but it needs to be paid in advance. Please send the driver name as soon as available.

EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: Register by March 5 and we will apply a $10 discount per driver. However, early registration discounts will be lost if not paid within 30 days.

BY MAIL OR FAX: Send your completed registration form by mail or fax and we will bill you. Full payment is due within 30 days. Mail registration form to OPI-Montana DRIVE (see address below) or fax to 406.444.2955.

BY E-MAIL: If you want to register via e-mail, provide all the required information listed above and e-mail to MontanaDRIVE@mt.gov or scan the completed registration and attach to your email. We will reserve the workshop date and bill you for the amount due (payable within 30 days).

State of Montana employees: Please include the name, phone and email address of your agency’s billing contact so we can arrange payment via Inter Unit Journal (IUJ).

CREDIT CARD: You can pay via credit card (VISA and MasterCard only), but we prefer payment by check, money order or State of Montana Inter Unit Journal (IUJ). To pay via credit card, contact us.

TEEN WORKSHOPS: If you are registering for a teen workshop, follow the instructions on the Teen Workshops page. Do not use the registration form for the adult workshop to register a teen.

Getting Ready for your Workshop

  • Make sure your workshop is paid in full and you have received and reviewed your workshop confirmation.
  • Make lodging arrangements in Lewistown, Montana.
  • Review the map to the facility.
  • Bring a lunch. A refrigerator and microwave are available for your use.
  • Arrive at 7:45 a.m. to check-in. The workshop begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp and ends by 5:00 p.m.
  • If you have any questions, changes or cancellations, contact Patti at (406) 444-4432 or email montanadrive@mt.gov.

More information about preparing for your workshop.

Payment in full is required for reservation confirmation. Notify our office as soon as possible if you need to cancel or send a substitute.

Refunds are available as follows:

  • 90% Refund with 20 or more days advance notice;
  • 50% Refund with 10-19 days advance notice;
  • Less than 10 days—No refund, but you can send a substitute with prior notice

Discounts Might Be Available

* Check with your insurance agent about discounts for successfully completing a Montana DRIVE workshop. Montana state law (MCA 33-16-222) requires auto insurance carriers to apply a premium discount to all auto insurance policies where the insured driver is 55 years of age or older and has successfully completed a highway traffic safety program. The Montana DRIVE Program is recognized by the Montana Department of Transportation as a qualified highway traffic safety program.

Mission and Objectives of the Workshops

Montana D.R.I.V.E.

The mission of the Montana DR.I.V.E. program is to enhance driver risk management through in-vehicle training and education services to schools, governments, businesses and the general public. The workshops contribute to this by:

  1. increasing the participant’s awareness of driving risks;
  2. identifying driver and vehicle limitations;
  3. providing practice in driving behaviors that anticipate and manage risks;
  4. providing confidence-building opportunities to successfully manage critical situations; and
  5. encouraging and practicing "everytime" use of occupant protection measures.

Click map for larger image. Our advanced driver summer training program began in 1979 in beautiful Lewistown, Montana. The track is surrounded by seven mountain ranges.

The Montana DRIVE facility is three miles west of the Lewistown Airport. From Highway 87, turn south onto Cottonwood Creek Road toward the Lewistown Raceway. Look for signs with the blue MT DRIVE logo. More detailed directions are included with workshop confirmations.

The driving track is built on runways constructed for training bomber pilots during World War II. The driving track was completely resurfaced in 2004.

Lewistown, Montana Lodging and Camping Facilities

Super 8
102 Wendell
406.538.2581
800.800.8000

Yogo Inn
211 E Main
406.535.8721
800.860.9646

Montana DRIVE

B&B Motel
520 E Main
406.535.5496
877.538.3563

Duvall Inn
Bed and Breakfast
406.538.7063

Montana DRIVE

Mountain Acres Campground
103 Rocklyn
406.538.7591

The Calvert Hotel
216 7th Ave. South
(406) 535-5411
(877) 371-5411

Montana DRIVE

For other lodging options and links to websites, visit the Montana Official State Travel Site

Personal Preparation - What to Bring?

  • Yourself, rested, alert, and on time. Please arrive by 7:45 a.m. for check-in. Workshop starts at 8:00 a.m. sharp.
  • Bring your own lunch
    If you are taking the One-Day Workshop, you will only have 30 minutes for a lunch break and you will not have time to leave the facility for lunch. Water and a microwave oven are available free at the facility—soft drinks for a nominal fee.
  • Make your own overnight accommodations
    For more information, refer to the lodging and camping facilities listed above. If you must travel more than one hour to arrive in Lewistown, it is recommended that you stay overnight.
  • Dress casual and wear comfortable clothes and good shoes
    You will be spending a lot of time in and out of a variety of motor vehicles. Sandals and flip-flops are discouraged because of safety reasons.
  • Do not bring dependents or pets
    You will not have time to care for them properly, and your personal vehicle is not an appropriate place for them to spend the day.

Montana DRIVE Teen Workshops

As of June 3, 2016, all 36 teen workshops are reserved, but cancellations are possible. Check back again or sign up for Montana DRIVE e-news to be informed of openings.

Download Teen Workshop Application here
Registration for the 2016 One-Day Teen Workshops is now open. Since 2009, State Farm Insurance has annually provided $200 scholarships to 36 young drivers who complete a State Farm Scholarship application form. This special grant from State Farm Insurance enables us to reduce the teen workshop fee from $285 to $85, when we have received the Teen Workshop application that includes a short essay written by the teen driver.

The application form is also the workshop registration form. Upon approval, we will send an invoice to the applicant or applicant’s parent or guardian. The invoice MUST be paid within 30 days or the workshop will not be confirmed and could be given to someone else. Space is very limited, so please register early to get the day you want.

Montana DRIVE e-news subscribers receive the latest updates and news. Sign up today!

skid carWhy should you take this workshop? 

  • Invest a day in learning how to prevent or regain control in a skid, how to avoid a crash, and how to safely recover when a wheel drops off the edge of the road.
  • Reduce risk with advanced behind-the-wheel training.  Experience how vision and targeting can prevent or quickly manage a skid.
  • Develop skills to keep your vehicle in balance and respond safely to driving risks.
  • Professional traffic education instructors with years of experience working with teens give hours of one-on-one instruction, encouragement, and practice time.
For more information, call 406.444.4432 or email montanadrive@mt.gov.


Meet the Montana DRIVE Instructors!

Denise Bordeleau Denise Bordeleau began teaching at Montana DRIVE in 2013. Denise is a Butte School District welding technology instructor during the school year. Since 1997, she has taught summer traffic education in Butte. Denise is also an active member of MTEA.
Sue Carney Susan Carney began teaching advanced driving at Montana DRIVE in 2010. During the school year, she teaches driver education and physical education in Arlee. She also teaches summer courses in Traffic Safety Education as an adjunct instructor at MSU-Northern. She is a past president of the Montana Traffic Education Association (MTEA) and is an active member of the MTEA board.
Jim Carroll Jim Carroll began teaching at Montana Drive in 1986. He is employed by Conrad Public Schools where he is the lead Traffic Education Instructor and District Transportation Director, where he is responsible for bus driver training. He also coaches sports and is the district’s Activities Director. Jim is the Executive Secretary of the Montana Traffic Education Association and is currently serving as the President of the Montana Association for Pupil Transportation (2015-2016). Jim also instructs a college-level traffic safety education course through MSU-Northern.
Mick Davis Mick Davis has been a Montana DRIVE instructor since 1998. In 2014, he retired from a 38-year-career as a health enhancement teacher in Great Falls where he also taught driver education. He has been an active member of the Montana Traffic Education Association (MTEA) for more than two decades and served as the president of the MTEA in 2010 and 2014.
Bruce Kubler Bruce Kubler has taught advanced driving at Montana DRIVE since 2005. He works for the Stevensville School District as a school bus driver and is on the Board of Directors of the Montana Association for Pupil Transportation. Before moving to the Bitterroot Valley, Bruce trained school bus drivers in California.
Harold Lair Harold Lair has extensive training in crash avoidance and since 1986 has worked as a Montana DRIVE instructor. He recently retired as a teacher of English and driver education after more than 40 years of teaching, most of them spent in Polson. He has been President of the Montana Traffic Education Association (MTEA) three times, MTEA's Teacher of the Year twice, and served as a National Driver Educator of the Year.

Myles Laird

Myles Laird began teaching at Montana DRIVE in 2010. He earned his Traffic Education license in 1997, and has taught summer programs in several hi-line districts over the years. In addition to teaching special education and driver education in Harlem, Montana, Myles is a substitute bus driver and coach.
Dave McConnell Dave McConnell has taught at Montana DRIVE since 1985. He was a physical education and health instructor for 35 years, which included 8 years teaching Army and Air Force dependent children in Germany. After retiring, he worked as a school bus driver. Currently, he is a driver education instructor for the Lewistown Public Schools and drives buses for the Council on Aging. He is a past MTEA president and was the 1992 MTEA Traffic Education Teacher of the Year.
Jeff Mead Jeff Mead has taught at Montana DRIVE since 2007. After a long career as athletic director and driver education instructor in eastern Montana, he semi-retired in 2014. He is a past president of MTEA and has served on the MTEA Executive Board. He currently teaches driver education in Savage and Sidney and promotes bicycle safety and code compliance in Sidney, MT.
Jerry Olson Jerry Olson began teaching at Montana DRIVE in 2013. During the school year, Jerry is a health enhancement and driver education instructor in Great Falls. Jerry began teaching driver education in 2005 and was the 2012 Montana Traffic Education Teacher of the Year.

 

Vehicle Exercises

Directional Motion Control
motion control Strengthen risk managing behaviors through proper visual skills, use of steering, and throttle control while driving through a series of cones.


Evasive Steering
Evasive Steering Acquire the savvy to avoid a crash by steering around an object in a shorter distance than would be possible by trying to bring the vehicle to a stop.


Controlled Braking
Controlled Braking Develop the ability to achieve maximum braking while still maintaining vehicle directional control.


Skid Control
bus skid Experience how vision and targeting can quickly manage a skid and regain control.



Off-Road Recovery
Off-Road Recovery Learn techniques for safely returning to the roadway after running off the edge of the pavement.



Cornering
Cornering Manage the risk dynamics of cornering through good vision and proper lane placement, braking, steering, and acceleration.

 

Professional Development Credits

Some professions recognize this workshop toward professional development requirements. Consult with your profession’s state office to verify if they will credit this workshop.

  • Renewal Units:
    Montana teachers can obtain ten renewal units for licensure renewal upon successful completion of the One-Day Workshop.
  • College Credit: One semester of graduate or undergraduate credit can be earned through Montana State University—Northern. 

Please indicate your wish for credit when you register.  In addition to the One-Day Workshop, those requesting credit must also return a second day, student teach an exercise, and write and submit a short paper.

Employer & Participant Testimonials

WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAY ABOUT THE PROGRAMcowboy/truck

  • I was driving home to Great Falls from Missoula on Highway 200. In a hurry, I decided to pass another vehicle on the two-lane road. The problem was, there was black ice on the road and as I pulled into the other lane the back end of the truck started fishtailing to the left. I immediately let off the gas, gripped the wheel, prayed fervently and pointed the truck straight down the highway as I had been taught in your workshop. Thankfully the back end swung back, but then it started fishtailing in the other direction.

    Again, I repeated what I had learned in the driving course, pointing the vehicle straight down the highway without any gas or brake, stared vehemently at a distant point in the middle of the road, and thankfully the back end swung back into line and the vehicle recovered. I about passed out it was so scary. But I avoided spinning out twice in about 2 seconds on an icy two-lane road. Looking back on it, there is no question the training offered in Lewistown saved me from what could have been a disaster. Fred - State of Montana Safety Trainer

  • The class was awesome!!!! Really, I can't say enough about it. We had Bruce, Jeff, Kathleen, and Dave as our teachers, and they rocked!They had us doing things we didn't think we were capable of. It was such a great use of our time and will help in all driving situations. Paige - State of Montana

  • I really improved my skills. The instructors were just AWESOME, patient, dedicated and FUN!!! It was great to watch our bus drivers gain more confidence in their driving skills. I know some were really nervous about coming, but in the end they learned and had fun doing it. Kathy – Wyoming School Bus Driver

  • Missoula County Road Department drivers have taken your one day training and I have heard great response from them.In fact, we had an incident last winter where a car ran a stop sign directly in front of our snow plow and our driver said that the only way he avoided a serious collision was because of the training he received from your course....Thank you! Doug - Manager

  • I just got back from taking the DR.I.V.E. workshop. Wow, the class is really outstanding! The combination of classroom time and drive experience in the different cars is excellent. I was really impressed with all of the instructors, they did a great job! I’m recommending the course to several people. Jason – Work Safe MT

  • I encountered a deer on the dark interstate near Drummond while driving my family home from the ocean. I had less than one second to crash or steer around the deer and back onto the interstate. My Montana DRIVE training gave me the skill to prevent a rollover and keep my family safe on their long journey home. My wife woke when the car jolted around the deer and asked what happened. I said "You don't want to know" The deer was still standing on the highway. Doug – Livingston, MT

  • I have sent our data collectors to your one-day class every year for the past nine years and it's well-worth the time and money. Last year one of our data collectors slightly over-controlled on a curvy, bumpy, gravel road full of wash-board ridges. Your training helped him maintain control while negotiating a curve. I am thankful neither of our employees was hurt in what could have been a major accident. Thanks again for a great training program. Marlin – MDT

Montana DRIVE Frequently Asked QuestionsMontana D.R.I.V.E.

  1. Where are the workshops located?
    All workshops are located at the Montana DRIVE facility in Lewistown, MT. Directions to the facility and track are here.
  2. When are the summer workshops?
    The Montana DRIVE workshops are scheduled Monday through Saturday from early June to mid-August. Saturday dates are limited. Check the schedule for availability and register early since workshops fill quickly. To be notified when registration opens, subscribe to the Montana DRIVE e-Newsletter.
  3. What are the hours?
    One-day workshops are scheduled from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Check-in at the facility at 7:45 a.m. The workshop starts promptly at 8:00 a.m.
  4. Do I need to bring a lunch?
    Participants need to bring their own lunch. There is a half hour lunch break, but it's not enough time to get into town and back. A refrigerator,water and a microwave oven are available at the facility and soft drinks for a nominal fee.
  5. How much time is spent driving?
    Montana DRIVE classes are 7 – 8 hours in length. Two hours are dedicated to classroom instruction and five or more hours are spent practicing how to control critical driving situations with various vehicles.
  6. Do insurance companies offer discounts for successfully completing Montana DRIVE training?
    Check with your auto insurance agent. Montana state law (MCA 33-16-222) requires auto insurance carriers to apply a premium discount to all auto insurance policies where the insured driver is 55 years of age or older and has successfully completed a highway traffic safety program. The Montana DRIVE Program is recognized by the Montana Department of Transportation as a qualified highway traffic safety program.
  7. Do you provide the vehicles?
    Yes. The Montana DRIVE fleet has a variety of vehicles, including sedans, school busses, an ambulance, and a fire truck.
  8. What kind of training do you offer?
    Montana DRIVE Workshops put drivers behind the wheel to develop skills to respond safely to critical driving risks. Participants include new and experienced bus drivers, truck drivers, firefighters, EMS, fleet drivers and anyone who drives cars, vans and pick–up trucks. There are workshops designed specifically for teen drivers. The in-vehicle exercises are based on the kind of situations that cause the most types of crashes in Montana. These include off-road recovery, cornering, controlled emergency braking, evasive steering, skid control, and an exercise in a specially equipped Skid-Monster vehicle that combines vision, targeting, braking/accelerating transition and vehicle balance.
  9. Do the instructors ride in the car?
    Instructors always ride with workshop participants to demonstrate maneuvers, guide instruction, observe driver actions, and to provide immediate feedback to enhance the intensive learning experience.
  10. What is the student-teacher ratio?
    Classes are limited to 12 participants with four instructors. There is one driving coach for every three participants.  The teen workshops have one extra teacher for more individualized instruction.
  11. What is required to attend a Montana DRIVE workshop?
    All drivers must have a valid driver’s license (teens can take the workshop if they have their learner license), a paid workshop reservation, and a desire to develop skills to respond safely to driving risks. Wear comfortable shoes (no open sandals or flip-flops), bring a lunch, and arrive on time ready to learn and have fun!
  12. May I reserve a spot now and pay later?
    Yes, but you will be invoiced and full payment is required to confirm your registration. Larger groups may register early to reserve dates as long as the invoice is paid within 30 days. Drivers’ names must be provided two weeks prior to the workshop, so rosters can be prepared and the instructors know who is attending the workshop.
  13. What if my plans change and I can't come?
    We must be notified as soon as possible if you need to cancel, reschedule or want to send a substitute.Contact us by e-mail (Montana DRIVE@mt.gov) or telephone: 406.444.4432. Workshop space is limited. Refunds are available as follows:
    20 or more days advance notice: 90% refund
    10-19 days advance notice: 50% refund
    Less than 10 days advance notice: No refund, however you can send a substitute with prior notification.
  14. Can my teen driver attend if he/she is 15 years old and has an instruction permit?
    Yes. Our professional instructors guide teen drivers through off-road recovery, skid control and evasive maneuvers. Teens receive an individualized report evaluating ten specific driving skills with practice recommendations. Teen one-day workshops are designed for teens who have at least six months driving experience. Teen workshops help young drivers develop skills to handle critical and emergency driving situations which cause the most types of crashes in Montana. Teen Workshops
  15. Where can I stay in Lewistown?
    If you must travel more than one hour to arrive in Lewistown, we recommend that you stay overnight. Arrange your own accommodations.nFor more information, refer to the lodging and camping facilities at the Montana Official Travel Web site http://visitmt.com/
  16. Are discounts offered to groups?
    No. There are no group discounts offered to keep fees as low as possible for everyone. Montana DRIVE is a state government-run, nonprofit, user-supported program providing services to schools, state agencies, companies, and individuals for the benefit of public safety.
  17. What is the history of the Montana DRIVE program?
    The driving track was built on airport runways constructed in 1939 for training B-17 Flying Fortress pilots and crew during World War II. In 2004, the track was improved and resurfaced. More than 13,000 drivers have been trained in Lewistown since the Office of Public Instruction Advanced Driver Training Program began during the summer of 1979.