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Registration for summer driver education class set for Tuesday

CONYERS - Rockdale County parents who are interested in having their children take a driver education class this summer can register Tuesday.

Registration for the Summer 2008 Driver Education program will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the commons area of the Rockdale Career Academy, located at 1064 Culpepper Drive in Conyers.

"The number of students enrolled is ... contingent on the number of available instructors and/or vehicles in which to drive," according to a flier from Charlie Bryant, driver education instructor for Rockdale County Public Schools.

If space is available, non-Rockdale County residents may register for classes; out-of-county residents are encouraged to call the Rockdale Driver Education Office after May 5 at 770-388-5677, ext. 3189.

Registrants will choose one of two sessions for summer classes - June 9 through 24, or June 25 through July 11. July 4 is a school holiday.

Course organizers stressed that absences will not be permitted and students who are absent from any class risk not being awarded a class completion certificate.

Georgia students who are under 17 years old are required to take a driver education course before they can obtain their driver's license. Once they turn 17, they can obtain a license without the course, but must still have a learner's permit and pass the driving test.

Rockdale County residents are charged $350 for the course and non-Rockdale County residents are charged $400, although Bryant said this price is subject to change.

Tuition must be paid with either cash, money order or a bank or certified check; personal or business checks and credit cards will not be accepted.

Parents - who are the only ones allowed to register their children - must bring the student's learner's permit or driver's license or a copy of it, along with the tuition payment during registration.

To take the class, students need to have a learner's permit and already have had 10 to 15 hours of practice before the class begins. According to a flier advertising the class, this is to ensure basic car control skills, such as turning and signaling, smooth braking and acceleration, reverse skills and a basic knowledge of the rules of the road,

The first driving lesson will take place in low-traffic, residential areas.

Bryant suggested parents allow their students to practice driving at the Rockdale Career Academy, or any school parking lot, after hours and on weekends, or the Georgia International Horse Park after hours of events.

Rockdale summer classes are held daily from 8 to 11 a.m., plus driving time.

During class time, students will read out of textbooks, watch videos, hear lectures and take tests. Afterward, students drive in two-hour blocks, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1 to 3 p.m. or 3 to 5 p.m., which parents will choose at registration.

Students will learn how to park, drive on residential and rural roads, change lanes on Ga. Highway 138 and drive on the expressway and through Olde Town Conyers.

Bryant said Courtesy Ford and Conyers Honda support the program.

After students successfully complete the class, Bryant will issue them a certificate, which could save on car insurance and allows them to take their driver's test for their license.

Bryant will hold driver education at individual high schools next school year - first and fourth quarter at Rockdale County High School, second quarter at Salem High School and third quarter at Heritage High School.

He said those who sign up will be sent a letter in June concerning payment, which is due by July 1.

Alternatives to Rockdale's driver education include attending a commercial school or taking it online through the state.

More information about registration and driver education is available at www.rockdale.k12.ga.us or by calling Bryant at 770-388-5677, ext. 3189.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.

SideBar: At a glance

What: Summer 2008 Driver Education

When: Classes are June 9 to June 24 or 25 to July 11; registration is 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Rockdale Career Academy, 1064 Culpepper Drive, Conyers

Cost: $350 for county residents, $400 for out-of-county residents (subject to change)

More Info: www.rockdale.k12.ga.us or 770-388-5677, ext. 3189