• Driver Education Theory and Behind the Wheel Training
    Course Description & Syllabus
    10th Grade
    Mr. Wilson

    The Driver Education program at Bellefonte will provide the students with the knowledge and skills that are needed and required by the State of Pennsylvania. The main objective of this course will be to develop the skills that are necessary for a young driver to have in order to maintain safety on the highways of Pennsylvania and beyond.
    There are two parts to the Driver Education program. The 30/6 program was developed right in our own back yard. First developed in State College in the early 50s the program has endured the test of time and it is still used across the state of Pennsylvania today. The first is the class or theory part of Driver Education. Students are required to complete the minimum of thirty hours of classroom instruction. In theory the students will learn a variety of highway safety laws, defensive driving skills and legislation changes in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The second, is the behind the wheel training, where students are required to drive the minimum of six hours. During the BTW (behind the wheel) students will gain the hands on experience of operating a motor vehicle.

    The classroom portion/theory part of this course will introduce the students to the following information:

    A. Identify and explain traffic laws related to safe driving
    B. Identify and explain laws that relate to responsible use of a vehicle
    C. Describe the PA licensing procedure
    D. Identify and asses modern vehicle technology
    E. Describe and explain the proper application of basic driving skills
    F. Identify traffic situations and develop avoidance strategies
    G. Identify and know model of effective decision making
    H. Identify the consequences of Human Error
    I. Identify the challenges of night driving
    J. Know the legal aspects of using drugs and alcohol when operating a vehicle
    K. Identify the consequences of DUI
    L. How to handle emergency situation
    In the behind the wheel training part of the course students will be required to perform the following skills:
    A. Demonstrate the proper application of traffic laws
    B. Acquire a learners permit or drivers license
    C. Perform a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle
    D. Demonstrate basic driving skills
    E. Point out and demonstrate technologies related to the operation of the vehicle
    F. Perform post-trip procedures
    G. Detect risk situations
    H. Perform an orderly visual search
    I. Utilize commentary driving and or respond to questions
    J. Divide the visual and mental attention tasks
    K. Execute appropriate behaviors when encountering distractions
    L. Managing space around the vehicle
    M. Implement escape routes or a way out
    N. Managing speed entering and exiting a curve
    O. Making a proper lane change
    P. Perform a parallel parking maneuver
    Q. Use signals and mirrors to operate the vehicle in a safe manner


    The following expectations have been carefully planned in order to present the students with the best learning environment:

    1. Each student will be provided with the PA Drivers manual.
    2. Students are required to bring the manual to class on a daily basis.
    3. Participation is crucial to the success of the student in class. There will be several times throughout the semester where students will be asked to role play, answer questions, participate in cooperative groups and complete in-class assignments.
    4. Each student will have an assigned seat. The seating assignments can and will be changed if needed.
    5. Students are required to turn assignments in on a timely manner.

    Classroom Rules and Procedures

    The following rules and procedures are set in order to provide the students with the best environment possible for learning:

    Once students enter the room they must go to their assigned seat. Remain quiet and begin the daily activity found at the front of the room.
    Students not in their seat when the second bell rings will be marked tardy.
    Students who do arrive late are encouraged to have a written pass from their previous destination.
    Tardiness will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
    Students will not line-up at the door at the end of the class period
    Behavior that results in the disruption of class time will not be tolerated.
    Absenteeism, although discouraged, is sometimes unavoidable. If students miss class they will be required to complete the missed assignments in a timely manner. Unexcused absences will result in a ZERO.
    The student handbook (approved by the BASD) will and always will be strictly enforced in this classroom.


    The grade that you achieve in the theory part of class will be directly reflected on the effort that you give. The following are examples of gradable elements and behaviors:

    Chapter Tests and quizzes
    PA driver manual quiz questions
    Daily in-class assignments
    Driving pamphlets
    Parent interviews
    Individual and group presentations
    Class participation
    Mid-Term exam
    Final exam
    Daily lessons

    Each day as students enter the room they will have a motivating activity in the front of the room. It may be a bell ringer, group/individual assignment, pop quiz or a learning center.

    Most homework that will be assigned can be completed during the class period. To obtain a good grade in class, students are expected to turn their homework assignments in, before the end of the class period. Students are highly recommended to participate in class discussions. Effort and participation in this class allows the student every opportunity to reach their potential.

    Assignments, Activities, and Projects

    Unit 1 Welcome to the Road

    PA Driving Manual
    Power point presentations
    Pamphlet project
    Intersections and Right of ways

    Unit 2 The Driver and the Driver Task

    Defensive Driving
    The condition of the Driver
    Ultimate Driving Challenge

    Unit 3 The Driving Environment

    A. City Driving
    B. Highway and Rural Driving
    C. Freeway Driving
    D. Sharing the Road

    Unit 4 Challenging Driving

    A. Driving in Bad Weather
    B. Collisions
    C. Emergencies

    Unit 5 Driving Responsibly

    A. driving under the influence
    B. Licensing procedures
    C. Vehicle Maintenance
    D. Driving away from home

    Course objectives and goals

    The goal(s) of the Driver Education program when attained will allow students to safely use the Highway Transportation system with greater confidence and higher skill levels.( PA D.O.T.) Upon completion of the thirty classroom hours and the six-hour behind the wheel training students will know the following:

    14.1 Pennsylvania Laws and Regulations
    14.2 Knowledge of Vehicle Operations
    14.3 Perceptual Skills Development
    14.4 Decision-Making/ Risk Reduction
    14.5 Driving Conditions
    14.6 Influences Upon Driver Performance

    As part of the young driver legislation, Act of 1999, The PA Dept. of Transportation established skills necessary for young drivers to master in order to reduce crashes if executed properly. The skills are:

    1. judging speed going around a curve
    2. recognizing a stopped vehicle
    3. staying in driving lane
    4. starting from a stop
    5. making a left turn into traffic
    6. scanning environment and staying in driving lane
    7. recognizing when to brake
    8. looking before pulling out from driveway or stop sign
    9. judging speed and distances of on-coming traffic
    10. driving at night
    11. driving in the rain
    12. driving in the snow
    13. identifying lights, signs and roadway markings
    14. selecting a sufficient gap to enter traffic