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Dublin, CA. 94568
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DMV Lic. #E2023

Our Blog


13 Feb, 2018

One of the best things I have ever read on the value of training! (Unfortunately, I don't remember the author's name.)

The purpose of training is to gain technical skill and build personal confidence. Skill without confidence is just as ineffective as having confidence with no skill to back it up.

Confidence is built by applying your skills repeatedly until they are second nature. An example of this is tying your shoes. Odds are you’re very confident in making the knot, know which lace goes first and so forth—it happens effortlessly, because you’ve been doing it almost as long as you’ve been able to walk. Riding a bike is another example.

Skill and confidence. If ever there was a preparatory solution for the new normal, it is these two aspects. Training is paramount. All skills are derived from training, and the adage holds true that repetition—the mother of all skills—breeds confidence.

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10 Nov, 2017

Here's a link (link) to a webcam streaming a live shot in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Why would I post this on the P-51 Blog? Because this is a great shot of an intersection where the left turn can be either "protected" or "unprotected," and it shows how to properely do this, and it shows a flashing yellow to indicate the "unprotected" left turn. Flashing yellows have been used in other States for many years, but are now finding their way to Calif. Check out the feed!


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New Flyer

20 Sep, 2016


19 Sep, 2016

Got this nice review from a parent today!

Donn, the instructor, was great with my son. He evaluated his ability and comfort behind the wheel quickly and was able to tailor the lesson to him. They did freeway driving, in town driving, covered lane changes and more. We received a report card after the lesson and Donn explained to us what each section meant and what our son needed to work on before the next lesson. He stressed the goal of the lessons are to teach our son to be a good driver, not just pass the driving test. Our son felt very comfortable and is looking forward to lesson #2!

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Five Qualities 5

15 Jul, 2016

For each day this week, I will list one of the five qualities that I believe make up a good driving school.

(5) Does the Driving School and/or Instructor limit the miles the student can drive? It's not uncommon for a driving school, and or an Instructor, to seriously limit the amount of miles the student drives. The more miles the student drives, the higher the cost to the school, the lower the miles, the lower the cost. Personally, while working for other driving schools, we have seen many many lessons that went only six to ten miles. How much can a student learn by driving six miles? Not much! At P-51 our second and third lessons can run as high as 60-70 miles, especially since we do a fair amount of freeway driving. If the Driving School and/or Instructor limit the driving miles the student can drive, it’s not a good school.

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Five Qualities 4

14 Jul, 2016

For each day this week, I will list one of the five qualities that I believe make up a good driving school.

(4) Does the Instructor teach freeway driving? This follows closely on the heels of the issue just below; since driving schools are mostly concerned with their student's passing the DMV drive test, they spend their time "teaching to the test." For this reason, and the fact that they want you to pay extra for "freeway" lessons, most schools do not include freeway driving in their six-hour teen course. At P-51 even our standard six-hour teen course includes close to an hour of freeway driving. If the Instructor spends little to no time on the freeway, it’s not a good school.

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Five Qualities 3

13 Jul, 2016

For each day this week, I will list one of the five qualities that I believe make up a good driving school.

(3) Does the Driving School and/or Instructor put a strong emphasis on the student passing the DMV drive test the first time? Unfortunately, many parents rate their son or daughter’s Driving School on whether or not they passed the DMV drive test on their first attempt. Because of this, most driving school’s focus the bulk of their teaching on just this aspect. Of course, helping a student pass the DMV drive test is part of a driving school’s job, but it’s not the main job. Teaching the student to be a safe driver should be the school’s main function. If the School/Instructor spends the bulk of their time talking about, or training the student to pass the DMV drive test, it’s not a good school.

I often tell parents and students that just because you pass your DMV drive test, does not mean you are ready to drive on your own. Passing a 15 minute drive test is relatively easy compared to driving an hour by yourself. The most worrisome trend I have seen over the last couple of years is that students who I know are going to pass their drive test, are still making critical mistakes on our final lesson together. A few years ago this was the exception, now it's the rule.


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Five Qualities 2

12 Jul, 2016

For each day this week, I will list one of the five qualities that I believe make up a good driving school.

(2) Does the Instructor train using routes? If an Instructor doesn't train using routes, than they are simply driving around. When someone takes their DMV drive test, the Examiner is not just driving around; they have the student on a route. This is because DMV wants to test drivers on basic driving maneuvers, and at P-51 we use routes because we want to teach certain driving maneuvers. If the School/Instructor doesn't teach using routes, it's not a good school.

Every Instructor I trained at my previous Driving School, I told to train using routes, and only one or two ever followed my advice. One student told me his Instructor kept having him turn into courts and dead-end streets because the Instructor didn't know the area. Another student told me his Instructor stared at the gps unit the whole time because they didn't know the area either . Every student I take into Berkeley uses the same route because I have specific things I want to teach!

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Five Qualities

11 Jul, 2016

For each day this week, I will list one of the five qualities that I believe make up a good driving school.

(1) Does the Instructor spend the majority of time talking about driving? This seems like a no-brainer, after all, you hired the driving school to teach your son or daughter about driving a car. The most common dialogue between student and teacher is what interest the Instructor, and if the Instructor doesn't love driving, they will often talk about something else. Especially in the critical first lesson, the Instructor should be talking about driving around 90% of the time. If they don't, it's not a good school/Instructor!

Here is an actual Yelp review about a local driving school that highlights the above issue:

"My son said the instructor talked about random things non-stop during every lesson, and little about actual driving instruction. But this school is still probably among the best in the area."

What P-51 would like to know is how can a driving school be considered "among the best in the area," when their Instructor doesn't even teach about driving, among the most dangerous things a teenager will ever engage in?


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27 Jun, 2016

Added a link to a new teen tracking device, Hum (by Verizon), to the Resources page. Also linked Hum's Facebook page from P-51's Facebook page.

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