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Driver's ed classes filling up as summer approaches, market narrows

Posted at 12:12 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 13:12:58-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kans.  — School is almost out for the summer, and for some students, that means it's time to get behind the wheel.

"I've got a huge family, and to have an extra driver is just really a big helping hand," Holly Davis, who is currently enrolled in driver's ed, said.

The 14-year-old is attending the program at Johnson County Community College.

"It's getting kind of a tight fit because a lot of parents are trying to get their kids in the program," Angie Frede, Holly's mom, said.

This happens every year as the weather gets warmer, according to an administrator at Johnson County Community College.

"The most popular time to take driver's ed is during the summer time," Josh Smith, Transportation Program & Continuing Education Director, said.

Spots also fill up quickly as fewer school districts offer driver's ed.

"It's because of risk, because of liability and there's also a shortage of instructors in the Kansas City area," Smith said.

JCCC is almost full through the month of June, but it's not too late to enroll your child for later in the summer or to find another program.

Smith just recommends doing your homework first.

"It's really important to know what their background is and their credentials, how long they've been teaching driver's education," he said.

Class size is another important factor.

If you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, Smith recommends:

  • Not scheduling a long vacation in the middle of the 4-6 week course
  • Familiarizing your student with the car, even if it's parked in a driveway. You can start with what may seem obvious, like which pedal is for brakes and which one is for gas
  • Checking to see if your insurance company offers discounted rates for drivers who have completed a course