YORK — Stacy Walker George wants to help young drivers get started on the right foot.
Her York business, Right Foot Driving Academy, offers classes and hands-on driving training to teenagers and adults who want to obtain a South Carolina driver’s license.
George, 36, who opened the business about a year ago, and has since trained about 100 drivers, most of them teens. She opened the business to put to work a decade of training and experience as a license examiner for the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
“I love working with young people,” said George, a 1995 graduate of York Comprehensive High School. “I’m offering a service that they want, they need, so they’re usually on their best behavior.”
Most of the drivers she has trained are 15 to 17, though she has trained some adults, including those from other countries who need training in U.S. driving rules and practices.
Her 61 N. Congress St. academy offers an eight-hour weekend driving class, broken up into two four-hour sessions, on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, followed by three two-hour individualized driving sessions.
The cost is $300, and she also offers a payment plan.
George said that unlike many other driving schools, she breaks up the eight-hour class into two classes because she believes teenagers absorb more information that way.
“After about three and a half hours, they want to start tuning out,” she said. “Sitting there for eight hours is hard for people. And I’ve had a lot of good response from my students, they like that break.”
The class is offered every other weekend, she said.
George said she picks students up at school or at their home for the driving sessions. She said the first driving session is rural driving and the second is urban driving.
The last driving session, she said, covers driving skills that are required by the state DMV, including overnight parking, parallel parking, backing and three-point turns.
She said most young drivers are eager to learn.
“They’re like sponges,” she said. “I haven’t had a grumpy student yet. I’m putting them on the road and I get such a good response from them. It’s a happy part of their life, and I get to be a part of that.”
But George said it’s important to make sure students understand the responsibility of driving a motor vehicle.
“I teach people that this is a machine, and it might have a computer, but it doesn’t have a brain,” she said. “And it needs your brain to operate in the best fashion.”
Her class includes a video that explains the consequences of bad driving decisions, including fatal accidents. George said she explains the video to parents before their children take the class.
George said she also warns students about the video before they watch it.
“I tell them, you need to see this, because this is what’s going to happen to you if you don’t do what we’ve been talking about in the last few days.”
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077