The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 2, 2012

RBA the only to still offer driver’s ed

MANKATO — What is the Minnesota Basic Speed Law? How long could you lose your license if you are caught driving over 100 mph? What does it mean to overdrive your headlights?

Students at RBA Public Charter School were asked these and 91 other questions on the very first day of in-class driver’s education this week. And most of them consider themselves pretty lucky to be receiving such a quiz, even if it is on day one of class.

That’s because their teacher, Todd Hanselman, reminded the kids that RBA is the only Mankato school to offer in-class driver’s ed, a fact Mankato Area Public Schools confirmed. Other students in town have to pay Mid-Southern Driving School, or another professional driving school, for the in-class and behind-the-wheel instruction, which can cost about $250 or more altogether.

“This class saves you 100 bucks, give or take,” he told the class.

Hanselman said budget cuts and insurance costs are reasons many schools no longer offer driver’s ed. But years ago Hanselman went to St. Cloud to earn the special license needed to teach the program, which he has taught at other schools, including at Mid-Southern.

The RBA class is a 38-hour program, and students can’t miss more than eight hours to get the form that allows them to begin the required six hours of behind-the-wheel training, which they get through an outside business. RBA does not provide behind-the-wheel.

The pre-quiz of 94 questions, any of which could appear on the written exam, showed the students that the test is no joke.

“You can’t get more than eight wrong,” he said. “If you get more than eight wrong, the computer shuts down and says come back.”

As a preview to what the course will entail, Hanselman quizzed the kids on a few of the questions, but he gave them a packet of information that included the answers.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News