Tallahassee Teaches Teens on Toyota Hybrids
February 1st, 2008 9:24 AM Share
In 2002, Leon County (Florida) commissioners passed an ordinance earmarking three dollars from every traffic ticket for driver-education programs. This year, educators got $230k to spend on teaching the next generation how to navigate our roadways. They spent the money on salaries for one full-time and one part-time teacher and cars for the county's five high schools. But Tallahassee.com reports they didn't buy just any cars– they bought a fleet of Toyota Priora. You have to wonder how the students will react going from one of those with its video game dashboard and engine cut-off back to the family chariot where they actually have to learn to read an instrument cluster and listen to the engine idle.
Published February 1st, 2008 9:24 AM
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I hope the money is spent wisely. The course I took here in TX was beyond laughable. I knew more walking in than I could have learned if they tried. My 14 hours of driving/observing consisted of running errands for the "instructors," and no, I'm not joking. Our final consisted of 20 multiple-choice questions on sign meanings - yes, sign meanings. Imagine a Stop sign, Yield sign, Watch for ICE on Bridge sign, etc. Drivers Education in TX is sad. It shows, too. I don't really care what my future kid/chilren learn in (assuming that it's a relatively safe vehicle, of course) as long as they LEARN. Needless to say, I'll probably be teaching my kid/s on my own. As far as the electric nannies go, as much as I might disagree with learning in such a situation, at least the safety systems protect the freshman drivers. Also, this will be mandatory in just a few years anyway - NOT to say that people shouldn't learn to drive without the assistance, but it is a relief to know that the setup they will learn on will be used in the future. Of course, the car I taught myself to drive in correctly happens to be a RWD 5sp 80's 300ZX with no ABS - best way to learn in my book.
I still think everybody, unless he is missing an arm, a leg or both, should learn to drive in a manual transmission car. Learning to drive in an automatic is like learning to read with a comic book.
Unless they changed the rules while I wasn't looking, Prius owners usually refer to the plural as "Prii" (pronounced "Pre-eye"). I don't think Toyota gave us any guidelines; there's nothing in my owner's manual on proper spelling of the plural. But I kind of like "Priora." It has a nice sound; much better than "Prium" or "Pria" or the absolute worst, "Priuses"....
Oops, forgot to actually discuss the article! I don't object to driver's ed teaching on a Prius. But I also agree that everybody should learn on a stick, which is not available on the Prius. And for a local government to consider purchasing Prius for it's driver training courses, I think that's a good idea. There ARE Prius taxicabs and police cars (community relations officers). It's a great car for heavy stop/go driving. In fact, I'm curious as to why the Postal Service doesn't employ them!