CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Chattanooga City Council members approved a contract to implement a Drivers Education Program for the city, Tuesday night.
The contract is with Hamans New Drivers. The pilot program will begin next week at the Brainerd Recreation Center.
City officials briefed Council members in October on the new Driver Education program that would be funded by revenue from traffic safety cameras. The program could expand to Washington Hills and Patten Recreation Centers in 2010.
In October, City Engineer John Van Winkle expressed hope that the program could expand even further if there was sufficient interest from students and parents. The program is targeted at teen drivers who are city residents. They would be able to take a modern driving safety program valued at $400, at a greatly reduced rate. "The money from the traffic safety cameras will enable us to offer this program to city residents for only fifty dollars," said Van Winkle, "and they will benefit not just from the savings on their insurance, but from the peace of mind knowing their son or daughter has been properly trained to drive." He says Chattanooga's proposed program could serve as a model for the state of Tennessee, which currently does not have a statewide Driver Education program.
Van Winkle also credited the Chattanooga Police Department, and all citywide departments for playing a role in promoting and administering the program. He said Public Works would provide oversight and management, Parks and Recreation would provide the facilities, Education Arts and Culture would help promote the concept, and Finance would provide financial management services.