Driver’s ed fleet has two new vehicles

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By John Barnhart

    Two 2011 Dodge Avengers will be joining Bedford Public Schools’ drivers’ education program.

    According to Dr. Mac Duis, the school division’s director of instruction, the focus of the driver’s ed program has been changed from using a driving range at Bedford Science and Technology Center to over-the-road training. This will provide a more realistic experience to the students.
    The school division and BEDCO Cares split the cost of buying the cars 50/50. Dominion Dodge helped out by providing a deep discount as well as looking for cars that have features that will make them good driver’s education cars. They are inexpensive to maintain and they are the size and type of car that most families have, providing the students with  better real-world driving experience.
    BEDCO Cares is a local organization dedicated to teen driving safety and has other organizations involved with it, including YOVASO, the Sheriff’s Office and the school division. The Bedford Community Health Foundation serves as BEDCO’s financial agent. The Health Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and administers BEDCO’s funds, relieving it of having to go through the process of establishing its own 501 (c) 3 status. Donations to BEDCO through the Health Foundation are tax-deductible.
    Dr. Duis said there had been a lot of debate about whether the school division could afford to offer driver’s training. The assistance from BEDCO Cares and the dealership will help to jump-start the program. Dr. Duis said he hopes to add a car each year, on a rotational basis, to ensure that students are learning in safe cars. The driver’s ed cars will be based at the county’s three high schools.
    The two Dodge Avengers will be equipped with brakes on the passenger side for use by the driver’s ed instructor.