Most of us need to drive a car, and most of us go through a driver education course while we are quite young. Few skills we learn as children or young teens carry life or death consequences. Driving does.
Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for people from 15 to 20 years old in Oregon. Each year, 600 Oregon teenagers are involved in fatal or injury crashes. Nationally, approximately 40,000 Americans die in car crashes each year.
No one wants to be part of those statistics.
The state of Oregon adopted and augmented a remarkable driver education program that saves lives by teaching a set of low-risk driving habits. Those habits have been shown to lower the risk of being involved in the most serious collisions.
Pacific Driver Education instructors are certified by DMV and the ODOT Transportation Safety Division to provide that training to you.
Lois Lents has been a DMV and ODOT-certified Traffic Safety Educator for five years. During that time, she has taught hundreds of students in both classroom and behind the wheel sessions. In addition to her role as instructor for one of Oregon’s largest providers of Driver Education classes, Lois was also promoted to the position of Regional Manager. Her additional responsibilities then included scheduling classes, addressing all parents and teens in the Portland area classes during their large-group course orientation sessions, updating teaching materials and monitoring the quality of the company’s instructors. In 2011, after a rigorous yearlong training program, Lois was privileged to become a Trainer of Trainers in the Western Oregon University-ODOT program for candidate Traffic Safety instructors.
At the most recent conference for Oregon’s traffic safety instructors, Lois was elected to the post of 2nd Vice President of ODTSEA (Oregon Driving and Traffic Safety Educators Association). In this post, she will have the opportunity to help plan conferences, meetings and other continuing education opportunities. In two years, she will serve as president of the organization.
Joshua Szurszewski began his teaching career as a substitute for a small alternative high school in southeast Alaska. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and his teaching credentials, he taught high school for several years in rural Alaska. Upon returning to his native Pacific Northwest in 2007, he completed the required courses and obtained the certifications to teach ODOT-approved traffic safety courses; since then he has been working in the field full time.
In 2009 he was invited to join Oregon’s Trainer of Trainers group, which, through Western Oregon University, provides classes for those seeking to teach state approved teen driver education classes. In October of 2010, he was promoted to the level of Lead Trainer. While he stills holds current Oregon TSPC credentials for high school English, traffic safety is his passion.
On the few weekends when he’s not teaching teens how to drive or adults how to teach, he enjoys exploring Oregon with his wife, son and three dogs, and occasionally even finds time to ride the beautiful back roads of Oregon on his motorcycle.
Steve Lents is a DMV and ODOT-certified Traffic Safety Educator, having completed Western Oregon University’s rigorous training course in June of 2011. He immediately went to work during the busy summer season educating a large number of students in both the classroom and behind the wheel components of an ODOT-approved program. Steve has strong teaching skills and has worked with teens for many years.
In addition to his outstanding teaching and mentoring skills, Steve brings dedicated business acumen, website design and social media skills to Pacific Driver Education.