Fayette County Attorney
"Learning how to drive
and getting a license
is one of the most coveted
achievements for many teenagers.
It is our goal
to see when students
complete this program,
will not only know the basic operation of a
vehicle but be able to react to situations
they may encounter while driving a vehicle.
We will provide the
and behind-the-wheel training that
will benefit drivers for
of their lives."
MESSAGE FROM FAYETTE COUNTY ATTORNEY
Teenage students in
Lexington have not been able to get any driving education through our school
systems for over forty years. Each year in Fayette County teenagers are involved
in a very large number of automobile accidents with the primary causes being: 1.
Driving too close for the speed and No. 2, Distractions.
In 2010, my
First Assistant, Brian Mattone (deceased, 2012), and I decided to offer a
Defensive Driving School for teenage drivers in central Kentucky. The main focus
was to offer young drivers training from expert instructors on accident
awareness and accident avoidance. With the guidance of our Director, Billy
Fryer, a former Lexington Police officer who has thirty five years experience
teaching driving skills to police officers, we designed a school that consists
of twenty hours of instruction over a five day period on a state certified
driving pad located on Old Frankfort Pike.
The creation of and
maintaining a driving school for teenagers is very expensive. There is the
initial cost for a driving site, cars, insurance, instructors and a classroom
facility which must be acquired in advance. We established a 501(c) (3)
non-profit corporation and we are committed to never ask for financial help from
LFUCG, nor, state or federal grants because I believe the private sector will
support the major financial needs for this important program.
this community stepped up with our requests for support. For example,
Mayor Jim Gray and the City Council gave us permission to use the 5 ½
acre driving pad on Old Frankfort Pike which was already being utilized by our
police and sanitation departments. Rick Avare and Toyota on
Nicholasville graciously provided us with brand new Camrys and Corollas
for our students to drive.
Doug Dixon, owner of Dixon Electric, donated
the very expensive fit-up for our classroom building. Because of State Farm
agent, Debra Hensley’s passion about this program, she was
instrumental in making her company, State Farm Insurance, aware
of our school and this has resulted in several donations to our school, the
latest being a $20,000 check in May, 2016.
Financial contributions from Toyota, Kentucky Eagle, Inc, Neurosurgical
Associates, Dermatology Associates of Kentucky, QX.net, David and Paula
Hollingsworth, Mr. and Mrs. W.T. Young Jr., Palmer Tire-Southland Drive, Tim and
Kelly Chesney, and Larry Jakobi have enabled this program
to sustain the basic operation costs.
Our first class was in June, 2011.
Through April, 2016, we have graduated 859 students. After two years of operation we were
having trouble obtaining the existing pad due to the constant needs of other
agencies. Because of the increased demand by families in Central Kentucky for
our school to add more classes, we designed another three and one-half acre pad adjacent to
the existing one. The cost of this project was over $300,000, and in August,
2012, it was completed thanks to the tremendous generosity of the following
companies in this community: ATS Construction, Vulcan Materials, Nally & Gibson, Tutt,
Inc., Woodall Construction and Haynes Trucking.
Now, we are
presently conducting two classes a day throughout this summer, and like last
year we will be offering classes in the afternoon during the fall after children
are out of school.
As County Attorney, I plan to continue this program.
If the demand escalates as I anticipate it will in the next few years, it is my
hope the Fayette County Schools will take over this effort and offer driving
education to all of our students.
Larry S. Roberts