GALION — Galion teens will no longer have to catch a ride to Marion to learn how to drive.
Classic Driving Academy has opened in Galion. Keven Snare, who started Classic Driving Academy 3½ years ago in Marion, is expanding his businessed. The academy isleasing space at the YMCA on Gill Avenue.
Classes started Monday, but will be ongoing as demand warrants.
“In Marion, we’re getting students from all over, even Crawford County,” Snare explained. “When I decided to expand, and I looked Galion, I saw there are four major high schools within just a few miles. Plus the YMCA had space available and the price was right.”
High schools quit offering driver’s education courses years ago. There has not been a private agency offering classes in Galion for more than a year.
“There’s a need here,” said Snare, who didn’t start out with a mind to go into the driver’s education business. “I started doing this part time a few years ago, and wasn’t really certain it was something I’d like. But the more I did it, the more I enjoyed the students. They’re attentive, because, well, this is something they’re going to have to do to get their driver’s license.”
In order to graduate from the driving academy, 24 hours of classroom experience is mandated, as are eight hours of driving in a vehicle. There are are requirements as to when students can get their permits and how long they have to wait after receiving their permit before than can take the driver’s test.
“We also offer the classroom work online,” Snare said.
The company website is www.classicdrivingacademy.com.
Currently, driver’s training is only offered in a vehicle with an automatic transmission. Something with a standard transmission is possibility in the future.
Driver’s education classes have changed through the years. The current classroom instruction includes little detailed information about engines, oil changes and other repairs and maintenance work that were commonly down by the car owners.
“There are so many sensors and computers involved now, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said. “You usually have to take the car to a garage to get it fixed now. But each students goes out to our cahr and we point out things like oil gauges and dip-sticks and where gas tanks are and how to check tire pressure. Those are still things everyone who drives can and should be doing.”
Snare estimates that he’s trained about 500 students since opening Classic Driving Academy in Marion, which remains open. There are classes available for teens and adults. For more information, visit the school’s website or call Snare at 74o-389-2929.