New drivers in Eastern Kentucky now have the opportunity to participate in a unique safe driving course.
Former Kentucky State Police Trooper Jamey Kidd opened the Eastern Kentucky Driving School and serves the entire Eastern Kentucky area.
After accepting a part-time job as a college driving instructor, Kidd realized the need for such a school in our area.
His 20 years of law enforcement experience also helped Kidd realize how beneficial a driving school would be to the people of Eastern Kentucky.
“Over the years I’ve seen a lot of kids get hurt because of their inexperience,” Kidd said.
Today, Kidd helps newly licensed drivers gain awareness and confidence in the road.
There is no age limit for Kidd’s course. The only requirement is that the driver has obtained his license.
“A lot of kids come to me who have never touched a steering wheel on anything,” he said.
Kidd also requires students to sign a contract stating that there are no medical conditions that could endanger them while driving.
Kidd recommends drivers contact immediately after receiving their license, as the school remains booked and appointments are usually made a few months later.
The course consists of three two-hour lessons, for a total of six hours. East Kentucky Driving School is fully accredited. Therefore, at the end of the course, drivers receive a certificate. This certificate is recognized by most insurance companies and may even result in a discount for drivers, depending on the company.
Kidd said the first class of the course is the most important. This class includes verbal instruction time that takes place in his office in Prestonsburg, as well as driving time on a course set up for students to learn how to avoid accidents. According to Kidd, this class has already helped at least four students avoid being involved in accidents.
This two-hour course, Kidd said, is designed to put students in a high-stress situation in a controlled environment so they’re better equipped to handle stressful situations on the road.
Kidd refers to second class as “day on the highway”. On this day, students drive the roads they access regularly in order to become more comfortable driving them.
In Pike County, this includes going to Walmart, crossing Coal Run, and driving on any other roads that students often use, such as the road to their grandparents or other parents’ homes. It will even take the kids on single lane roads and through steep mountains if necessary.
The third and final class is strictly reserved for test preparation. Kidd will guide students through the driving course they will take to try and get their license and work on the technical maneuvers needed to pass the test.
However, Kidd said the driver’s license exam is the least focused part of the course.
“Yeah, I want them to get their license the first time, but that’s not my priority,” Kidd said. “Would rather they had the option to cross Coal Run at 5pm than a parallel park here on Main Street because one of those you’re going to do every day, the other isn’t.”
The car that Kidd uses for instruction is an official driver education car that is inspected annually by the Kentucky State Police and is equipped with all the safety features it needs as well as features extra security Kidd added along the way.
“There are some things that I try to go over to make it a little bit safer for kids,” he said.
Kidd said he didn’t realize the impact he would have on people’s lives when he opened the school in October. He said there had been instances where life changes needed to be made and the first step in doing so was to obtain a license. He is happy to know that he has helped people with these life changes by helping them in the first step of this process, he said.
“It was a really nice surprise,” Kidd said. “The impact I had on many lives that didn’t know they would one day drive a vehicle.”
East Kentucky Driving School’s top priorities are safety and awareness, and Kidd said every student who completes their course walks away with more confidence.
Kidd said he was just happy to serve his community.
“I love providing service to the community and what better way to keep kids safe on the freeway,” Kidd said.
For more information about East Kentucky Driving School and to explore payment options, visit eastkydriveingschool.com.
Drivers interested in the course can also contact by email at [email protected], by phone at (606) 339-7233 or via Facebook on the East Kentucky Driving School Facebook page.