Getting a driver’s license is a major milestone most teens look forward to, but many parents approach this day with trepidation. As the mother of a teenage driver, I have spent many hours in the passenger seat tapping my “pretend brake” and squeezing the armrest.
Lucky for us, we found great driving instructors. When it came time for my daughter Ivy to start driver education, I let her shop around and decide where she would feel most comfortable (while considering affordability for me). She decided on Northern California Driving School (NCDS) after visiting the website and speaking with owners Bob and Maggie Krehbiel.
Bob is a retired CHP officer with more than 30 years of experience. The other behind-the-wheel instructors are also retired CHP. Bob and his wife Maggie are caring, friendly and flexible, and they helped my daughter avoid the nervousness that often comes with driver education and training.
Serving all of Butte County, NCDS offers the State of California Department of Motor Vehicle-certified classroom driver education required for new drivers aged 15V to 17V, in addition to behind-the-wheel driver training. After completing the required 30 hours of classroom instruction, students receive a certificate of instruction, which makes them eligible to take the California written exam. Once they successfully pass the DMV test, students may take the six-hour behind-the-wheel training required for a learner’s permit.
Driver training was the part my daughter enjoyed the most. Bob pulled up to our home in a normal-looking older black jaguar “with no embarrassing signs” – as the web site states. Ivy felt comfortable during her three two-hour driving lessons and actually looked forward to them.
Brandon, an 18-year-old “safe driver” from Chico, also took driver education and training from NCDS. Brandon says he enjoyed “how nice and funny Bob was, and how he would wear really cool snake skin boots.”
How emotional and physical states can affect driving behavior, as well as the basic laws and driving codes, are among the subjects covered in the classroom portion of driver education. Especially key for all drivers is to avoid fiddling with electronic devices and to minimize distractions by passengers. According to Brandon, one of the most important things he learned in driving school was “to pay attention and check your blind spot.” Even though Bob often incorporates humor into his instruction, Brandon says he really stressed “how serious driving is.”
In 2006, Bob and Maggie lost their granddaughter, Lauren, in a car crash. They know first hand the importance of traffic safety and try to impress this upon their students. Their passion and purpose is the main reason we chose them to teach our daughter this important skill.
NCDS teaches driver education classes the first, second, third and fourth Saturdays of each month. If students miss a class, they are allowed to make them up on another Saturday. For more information, visit http://www.northerncaliforniadrivingschool.com or call (530) 899-9307.
Jon Pecaut, owner of Shasta Driving School (SDS) in Redding, grew up around driving safety and traffic law. His father was in law enforcement and operated a driving school in Eureka after retiring. Jon worked for the family business before he opened his own in 1978.
SDS is a private, professional driving school providing traffic safety and education both in the classroom and on the road. The school offers a basic DMV teen requirement package which includes driver education and behind-the-wheel training for $369. There are online options for the education portion, and payment plans are available. SDS also offers traffic school, adult driver education and teenSmart, a computer-based interactive course for proven crash reduction. Comprehensive lists of courses, descriptions, and schedules are available on the website at http://www.shastadrivingschool.com or call (530) 246-2500.
As a parent who has sanely come out of the teen driver process so far, I am proud to say that I am confident in my daughter’s driving skills knowing that she was taught by some of the best. She passed the DMV test for her driver’s license the very first time she took it. And now that she’s had lots of practice, I prefer to let her drive.
North State Driving Schools
- A Top Driver School (530) 345-1199
- Chico Driving School (530) 343-2789
- North Valley Driving School (530) 342-6414
- Russell’s Driving School (530) 873-2740
- California Classic Traffic School (530) 343-8224
- Affordable Driver Training/ Anderson Driving School (877) 365-7712
- Cottonwood Driving School (530) 222-1210
- Redding Driving & Traffic School (530) 221-3959
- Statewide Driving School (530) 533-1092
- E-Z Way Driving School (530) 534-7421