Driving instructors

Las Vegas-area driving schools face instructor shortages, new DMV policy could make problem worse

By Sophie Perricone

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LA VEGAS (KVVU) — Many companies are looking for new employees, including driving schools.

“We’re advertising everywhere for instructors, we desperately need them,” said Kathy Kelly, co-owner of Safeway Driving School.

Kelly said she believes extended COVID-19 benefits, which end on Saturday, are preventing her from hiring and keeping instructors.

“We had 14, and now we’re down to three.”

The instructor becomes a problem that new drivers are beginning to resent. New student Conner Hull said it took him two months to even schedule lessons.

“With how hard to get in and hard to get in, I’m even lucky to have the dates when I have to drive on the roads and be ready to learn all of that,” he said. declared. .

Kelly said finding instructors is about to get even harder.

Typically, new teachers must take 30 hours of driving lessons, plus five hours behind the wheel.

As of September 1, Kelly said the DMV is changing that.

“DMV would like some type of certificate that they’ve had some type of education, anywhere, and I’m guessing in any profession,” Kelly explained.

If they do not present any type of certification, the training increases from 35 hours in total to 115.

“Is someone going to wait that long to be employed once they start – if they ever come back to work?” said Kelly.

As of Tuesday, Safeway did not have enough instructors to take on new students until mid-November.

Hull said his girlfriend was one of those waiting. but he uses his luck to help her in the meantime.

“With my help in trying to do that, I can also help them learn a bit, be able to help them prepare for the drivers’ test,” he said.

But as he tries to do his part until more people can sign up, he worries about the long-term effects of the instructor shortage and what it will mean for the safety of the rest of the valley on the roads.

“We absolutely need to be able to understand what it’s like to drive on the roads, to be able to impart the knowledge correctly to be safe on the road,” Hull said.

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