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Defensive Driving Course Tops 500 Graduates

Josh James

The Fayette County Attorney Driver Education Program marked its 500th graduate Wednesday.

The donation-driven program allows students to experience some tense situations behind the wheel.

"We start out with nothing out here except the pad and we tell them to turn left toward that water tower," lead instructor Billy Fryer explains, "and at the second they turn left we hit a button that turns the whole back end loose and instantly they're doing a 360."

While the description may sound a bit like a director preparing for a car chase stunt, the reality, says lead instructor Billy Fryer, is that the controlled exercise is an effective way of teaching young drivers what to expect in an emergency situation.

And with the Driver Education Program about to graduate its 500th student, Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts says those who have gone through the 20 hour class consistently give it high marks.

"Much of the time the response is, 'I can't believe that I was going to drive without the knowledge that I've learned in five days here,'" Fryer says.

The program costs $200, but financial help is available through a scholarship program.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.