Colorado Driver Education Schools

Originally posted on by Jo Jackson on 2/23/2011

New drivers under 16 in Colorado must complete an approved driver education course before they can be issued a permit. Other people in Colorado attend driving schools as adults to develop their advanced and defensive driving skills. The school you choose will depend on your location. When choosing a driving school, check that they are certified and licensed, find out what type of courses they offer, and choose what is best for you.

A+ Driving School is in Parker. Its services include 36-hour driver education courses, four-hour driver awareness courses, private driving lessons, permit testing, driver's licence testing, stick shift training, senior driver assessment and corporate remedial training. Its instructors have an average of 18 years of experience. The classroom lessons can be taken as evening classes or full-day classes and A+ schedules classes to fit in with the timing of school breaks.

Sounding off on teenage drivers

Originally posted on by Tabitha Dial on 1/30/2006 caught up with teens and parents at A+ Driving School in Parker on Jan. 25. We asked them what they thought of teen driving laws and curfew laws in the area. Here is what they said.

Matt Rathbun, 16, Parker: "I don't necessarily like some of the laws, but some of them are necessary." As far as why teens warrant special attention, he said, "I think it's more the idea of the teen being invincible, trying to push the limit until it's a tad too far."

Casey Diack, 14, Parker: Diack said she thinks laws are good as they are. "I think (teens are) more likely to get into accidents than adults. They have less experience."

Ashley Hurtgen, 39, Centennial: Hurtgen said that curfew laws are definitely a good thing. "I think there's just too many unknown factors late at night. You just never know what you're going to encounter out on the road."

As for teen driving laws, Hurtgen said, "I think stricter is better. I think anything we can do to keep these kids safe when they're just starting out driving is of the utmost importance. I think maturity wise, too, there's a big difference between a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old."

Gary Henderon, 51, Elizabeth: "One year (in which teens are liable to a teen driving law restricting number of passengers) is only the fundamental foundation (of being a good driver). It's going to take a while to get the statistics behind it, but (with curfew and teen driving laws) we're going in the right direction."

Teen drivers should proceed with caution

Originally posted on by Tabitha Dial on 1/30/2006

On Jan. 15, a 16-year-old driver caused the death of 35-year-old Steven Mitchell, of Colorado Springs, when Mitchell was returning home the Broncos playoff game against the Patriots, according to Colorado State Patrol. The teenage driver hit Mitchell's vehicle at 1:50 a.m. on Colorado 83 south of Franktown.

"Every time (an accident like the one on Jan. 15) happens, it impacts teens," said Gary Henderson, owner of A+ Driving School on Crossroads Drive in Parker. "We talk about different accidents and a lot of the times there were poor decisions made," he said.

Henderson said that instructors at A+ Diving School use accidents like the one involving the 16-year-old to talk about liability and how it affects their parents, who are often at home when their teens are on the road.

A secondary offense that can only be cited when drivers are pulled over by a police officer for suspicious behavior in a vehicle, Colorado's teen driver license restriction statue went into effect July 1, 2005. For the first six months of owning a driver's license, drivers who were under the age of 18 when they received their license cannot be accompanied by anyone under the age of 21 unless that person is a family member. Exceptions also are made for medical emergencies. Teens may be accompanied by no more than one passenger under the age of 21 during the second half of the first year they use a driver's license.

"The first six months for a teen gets them to understand the driving processes. The second six months allows them to work on defense," said Henderson, who teaches new drivers must always be attentive to their actions and those of other drivers.

As of Jan. 27, there is no record of any citations being written under the new teen drivers license restriction statute in municipal Parker, said Sara Walla, community affairs coordinator for the town of Parker.

Henderson said that the teen driving law is valuable and that it takes new drivers much longer than one year "to get used to everything the motoring public out here has to offer."

Because the fatal Jan. 15 accident occurred just before 2 a.m., local curfew laws, that make it unlawful for minors to be outside their homes between 11:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight to 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, warrant another look.

Unincorporated Douglas County, which includes parts of Parker outside city limits, has had a curfew ordinance since May 26, 1993, according to Deputy Cocha Heyden, who works for community resource/crime prevention for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Municipal Parker has had a curfew law since 1989.

"Since 2000, 114 curfew violations have been issued (in Parker)," said Walla.

Exceptions to the curfew law include minors who are accompanied by a parent, guardian, or individual with legal care or custody of the minor, minors who are lawfully employed during curfew, minors who have the written consent of a parent, guardian or individual with legal care or custody of the minor or are accompanied by someone over 18 and minors who are engaging in religious or civic activities.

Henderson said that he felt the local curfew law is not a troublesome issue for law enforcement or for parents of teenagers. "I haven't seen or heard it being a monster problem at the police department," he said.

Henderson, is, however, concerned about teenagers and cell phones. The use of cell phones by teenagers who are driving under a permit is prohibited by the state of Colorado as of Aug. 10, 2005.

"It's going to be difficult for these kids, because 3/4 of them have them," Henderson said.

A+ Driving School safety tips for drivers

Originally posted on by Tabitha Dial on 1/30/2006

In cars with airbags, the center of the steering wheel needs to face the driver's chest.

Drivers need to have 10 inches or more between themselves and a steering wheel, when the vehicle contains airbags.

To prevent injuries, seat belts should rest in the middle of the shoulder when worn. To ensure seat belts are in the correct position, check to make sure they lie in the middle of the shoulder when the wearer leans forward.

Prevent injuries that can occur when wearing bulky clothes by ensuring that the lap belt is worn against the body. This can reduce back injuries because the body should not shift forward significantly if in an accident.