High school driver education program earns award

DL-Team-Photo-with-Safety-ASt Johns County Tax Collector Dennis W. Hollingsworth, CFC, told Historic City News that he has received the inaugural safety award from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for the driver education program his office restored to local high schools.

In partnership with the St Johns County School District, the tax collector’s office first started offering the free learner permit classes during the 2011-2012 school years.

“As your driver license office in St Johns County, we consider ourselves partners with new teen drivers and their parents to ensure they get the best start on their driving experience,” Hollingsworth told local reporters. “A comprehensive driver education program has been a goal of mine for many years, and it is heartening to see such positive results. It is also gratifying that the state recognizes the work we are doing here to make our roads safer.”

Prior to implementing the free classes, on their first try, students were experiencing nearly a 50% FAIL rate when tested for their learner permit. After just two years of providing this training in the local schools, 93% of applicants pass on the first try.

Driver Education Coordinator Ricky McIntyre is tasked with executing the program at all high schools in St Johns County. The program began with the learner permit classes only, but has since progressed to include a second behind-the-wheel practical experience to improve students’ driving skills and confidence before taking their operator’s license road test.

Previously offered at $299, the driving course is now offered for just $200, thanks to support of the business community. Classes are limited, so it is necessary to sign up to reserve a seat.

For additional information about the driver education program, or to register for classes, visit the St Johns County Tax Collector website, http://www.sjctax.us

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