SALUTE THE BADGE: KHP Trooper helps put the "BRAKES" on dangerous driving

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Donald Hughes says he seems to catch bad drivers when he's out of uniform.

"That's when I go, 'dang I wish I was workin'" he said.

As a trooper on the job for over the past two decades, Trooper Don wears many hats. However, one in particular is his passion.

He teaches the community how to drive. Trooper Don say he didn't choose to teach behind the wheel, instead, it chose him.

"I was talking to my friend one day and she said, 'What about brakes,' and I said 'well, yeah, I wish more people would use 'em.' I had no idea what she was talking about," Trooper Don said.

That friend led him to participate in the BRAKES program for teens, a program that travels to different places across the community to teach them how to stay safer behind the wheel.

But, Trooper Don says it's not only teen drivers who need the extra help. He also hosts classes for adults, and seniors who may need a little extra push in road safety.

"Whether they are teens whether they are senior drivers," he said, "We want people to be relaxed and comfortable when people are driving behind the wheel. They will be better drivers, they will be safer drivers.

Trooper Don says even one road fatality in the state of Kansas is one too many, and it's his responsibility to decrease those rates. He also hopes for other law enforcement agencies to join his mission.

"I've worked with Shawnee County Sheriff's Office, they are interested. I'm also going to work with Topeka Police Department," Trooper Don said.

He says his goals motivate him to keep going everyday, because life in law enforcement, can be challenging. Even in the midst of challenge, though, Trooper Don says he will make a difference in the world, one wheel at a time.

"If we can save one life, that will be one that we are privileged to do."

You can catch the next BRAKES class at the Stormont Vail Event Center August 10-11, 2019. For more information, visit