Effingham County students are learning to drive in style thanks to the General Motors Driver’s Education Program and Coastal Chevrolet in Savannah.
The GM program allows local car dealerships to loan, free of charge, new vehicles to school systems for use with driver training.
“I think it’s a real good thing and I’m happy to be able to do it,” said Troy Alford, Coastal Chevrolet’s general manager and an Effingham County school board member.
This is the third year Alford has arranged for both ECHS and SEHS to receive the new vehicles. This year, SEHS received a 2009 HHR and ECHS received a 2009 Chevy Impala. The school system’s transportation department installs the passenger side foot brake for the instructor’s use — if necessary.
“We really appreciate General Motors and Coastal Chevrolet,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse. “Because of this program, the school system saves taxpayer dollars by not having to purchase driver’s ed vehicles. Plus, they provide a new vehicle each year, which guarantees that our students are safe as they are learning how to drive.”
Georgia’s Joshua’s Law requires 16-year-olds to take a state-approved driver’s education course in order to receive their driver’s license. The course is not required if the teen chooses to wait until he or she is 17 to apply for a license.
“Driver’s Ed is not an academic requirement but an elective provided by the district,” added Greg Arnsdorff, assistant superintendent for instruction. “Our program is configured to optimize the number of students who receive the core driver’s education training. Teachers provide 30 hours of classroom instruction.
“While some supervised driving experience is also provided, our approved program requires parents to conduct and certify the required six hours behind the wheel time for students.”