Driver’s Ed is helping students spring into the next phase of life: Bell Auto School, through their easily accessible programs, help students begin driving

Jake Diamond, Contributing Writer

Learning how to drive a car is an enormous milestone for many students. Earning a driver’s license, however, is no small feat. In order to do so, students need to pass their driver’s test and complete a driver’s education course.

There are many different courses available for everyone to take. One driver’s education course is offered through Schreiber in conjunction with Bell Auto School. Registration information can always be found on the Schreiber homepage. It costs $550 to enroll in the course if you are a Port Washington resident, and $600 if you are not. Spots fill up fast, so it’s always best to apply well in advance.

“I was fortunate enough to get into Driver’s Ed at the school, but some of my friends were not as lucky. They waited too long to apply and didn’t get a spot,” said junior John Athanasian.

This year’s spring course started on Feb. 6, and registration began on Jan. 9, one month prior to the first class. It is too late to register for this year’s spring classes, but there are many other opportunities to take a driver’s ed course. Schreiber offers a summer course and a fall course as well, while the North Shore Hebrew Academy offers their own courses. The North Shore Hebrew Academy is located at 400 North Shore Service Road in Great Neck. Its registration fee is $695 to all interested students.

Before registering for any driver’s education course, students must be 16 years of age and have a learner’s permit. Not every DMV offers learner’s permit tests, so make sure to check online before traveling to a location. For example, the Massapequa office offers permit tests, but the Garden City one does not. The Massapequa office is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, but instead of testing your luck with the lines, it is probably a better idea to make a reservation through the New York DMV website.

The Schreiber course includes a Driving and Theory class, where you read from a textbook, answer questions, and have the occasional guest speaker. Students need to fulfill a requirement of sixteen driving classes and sixteen theory classes, and any missed classes must be made up.

“When I took Driver’s Ed, I was in the middle of my wrestling season, and had to make up classes that I missed. They were really accommodating, and it was easy to do,” said junior Brandon Liu.

When signing up for classes during the school year, students have the option of taking both the driving and theory class on the same day. Classes can start as early as 3:15 p.m., or as late as 7 p.m. in order to meet the needs of students’ schedules.

To schedule a road test, you need a valid certificate verifying that you passed driver’s education class. However, these courses are not the only way to receive this certificate. Bell Auto School offers a five-hour Driver’s Ed course, and at the end of the five hours, the students receive a certificate which allows them to schedule a road test.

The only other restriction for scheduling a driver’s test is that you need to have had your permit for at least six months. For example if your birthday is in January, but you wait until March to get your permit, you will be able to schedule a road test with a driver’s ed certificate in September, not July.

For many students, the road test is one of the hardest parts of obtaining their license. It is a situation that puts a lot of stress on both the driving instructor and the student performing the road test.

Students are graded on how well they can perform certain tasks behind the wheel. Some of the common driving maneuvers tested are parallel parking, approaching an intersection, and making turns. Instructors also look at how comfortable you are while driving. If you are relaxed during your road test, it shows the instructor that you are capable of operating a car safely without any issues.

“When I took my road test, I was very confident and it helped me pass with flying colors,” said junior Anthony Sica.

Learning how to drive is an important part of the transition into adulthood. It signifies independence, but also responsibility, which is why it is necessary to make sure that you take the right steps to learn properly.