f f f f f

Texas Professional Driver Education Association

It is the mission of the Texas Professional Drivers Education Association to fairly represent and support the teen and adult driving schools of Texas while working with the state and national government to ensure fair and equitable drivers’ education laws as well as work with the agency supervising the driving school industry.

  • Our goal is to write and support the passing of legislation that will improve the drivers’ education industry of Texas.  Our goal is to work to educate legislators on bills that are detrimental to both our industry and the population our industry serves.  Our goal is to educate our members in changes of legislation and how to effectively implement those changes.  Our goal is to support Texas driving schools through mentoring and workshops to enhance their development as educational facilities and small businesses.


  • admin@tpdea.com

    • Next Event: Thursday, Nov 10 - 2016 - 2016 DSAA ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Nov 9-12 BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
    • Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center 5150 Town Center Circle Boca Raton FL
      5150 Town Center Circle
      Boca Raton , FL 33486
      2016 DSAA ANNUAL CONFERENCE: Nov 9-12 BOCA RATON, FLORIDA---National Association DSAA CONFERENCE SPEAKER LIST FOR NOVEMBER BOCA RATON Thursday 11/10/16 Owners Topics 8am - 930am Breakfast 9:30am - 9:55am Topic - Driver Training in Florida Speaker - Melissa Cueto Program Director Contact info - (850) 617-2490 MelissaCueto@flhsmv.gov Description - Bio - Melissa has worked for the State of Florida for almost 23 years and has 14 years’ experience in the law enforcement field and 8 years of experience at Florida State University. Melissa is a Program Manager for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and is responsible for Driver Education. She has been with the Department since December 2015 and possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and two Master’s degrees, one in Criminology and the other in Public Administration. 10am - 10:55am - Speaker – Dr. Pierro Hirsch Contact info – Pierro.hirsch@viragesimulation.com Topic - To get the right answers, ask the right questions: The key to training safer novice drivers. Description - Driver educators face the daily challenge of reducing the crash risk of a highly crash prone population, teen drivers. Frequent reasons proposed by scientific researchers for why teen drivers are involved in more than their fair share of crashes range from inexperience and lack of skills to immaturity and deliberate risk taking to excess testosterone and underdeveloped frontal lobes. These are all scientifically valid, to a degree. But how do these answers help driving educators increase the safety of their students? What if one of the key reasons for the excessive crash risk of teen drivers is directly related to what they personally believe about defensive driving and crash prevention? This presentation will present results from a long-term study of 1,806 new drivers that compares answers given to a Crash Beliefs Questionnaire on the day they passed the government road test to their official violation and crash records almost two years later. Bio- Between 1976 and 2005, Pierro Hirsch was a driver trainer, driving school owner, teacher trainer and eventually a graduate student in public health. Since 2006, Dr. Hirsch has been responsible for developing driver training and evaluation programs at Virage Simulation, a Montreal-based driving simulator manufacturer. In 2008, he was a curriculum development consultant for the Quebec Government’s Mandatory Novice Driver Program and he is currently a member of the Committee on Operator Education and Regulation, ANB30 at the Transportation Research Board, Washington D.C. He has authored several peer-reviewed articles and presented his research at international conferences. He is currently developing and validating driving simulator-based training and evaluation scenarios aimed at reducing crash risk for novice car and truck drivers, commercial and emergency drivers, clinical populations and aging drivers. 10:55am - 11:25am. Exhibitor Bingo 11:25am - 12:15am - Topic - How to sustain your driving school business during the slow time of the year Speaker - JC Fawcett Contact info - jc@driving-school.com> Description - Discussing how should a driving school go about setting their pricing? What is dynamic pricing? Can you offer services different from your competitors? What is your baseline cost for a behind-the-wheel lesson? Why you should be looking at the big picture and do not panic when holding a class with very few students. What systems can you use to improve your process of conducting business and classes? Bio - J.C. Fawcett - has been a Driving School owner since 1997. He is the president of the Washington State Driving School Association. He has been married for 18 years and has 3 kids. When not at work, JC's hobbies include working late at the office and coaching Soccer:) 12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch 1:30 - 2:20 Topic - Autonomous Vehicles Speaker -Michelle Atwell (NHTSA) Contact info - 202.366.2084 Michelle.Atwell@dot.gov Description - With the rapid development of emerging automated technologies the means for partially and fully automated vehicles are nearing the point where widespread deployment is potentially feasible. During this session you will learn how NHTSA is working collaboratively with safety stakeholders to provide guidance to States. Bio - Michelle Atwell joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, United Sates Department of Transportation in Washington, DC as a Highway Safety Specialist in the Enforcement & Justice Services Division located within the Office of Safety Programs in February 2013. In her current role, Ms. Atwell is responsible for several priority areas including but, not limited to; driver licensing, GDL, driver education and State Assessments, autonomous vehicles as well as various national law enforcement initiatives. Before joining NHTSA, Ms. Atwell worked for the MD Highway Safety Office for several years as a Program & Grants Manager focusing on numerous State Highway Safety Programs and priority areas. Atwell earned her undergraduate degree from Towson University, with a major in Health Science and a minor Community Health Education. 2:25pm - 3:20pm Speaker - Hale Gammill (Drivesed.com) Contact info - 951-867-4743 hale@driversed.com Topic - Effective Driving School Telephone Sales Techniques Description - How to get more enrollments for your school Bio - Operator of the Largest Driving School in California, DriversEd.com. 49 years of successful driving school experience. 2nd Generation Driving School Operator. Managed successful driving schools in Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California 3:25pm - 4:20pm Speaker - Jason Pierce Contact info - 425-315-5436 Jason@driving-school.com Topic - The How's and Why's of Connecting with Teens as you Teach Description - Many instructors find that they are yearning for students to understand the information that is being pumped into their brains but seem to notice a disconnection that is difficult to isolate and repair. During this seminar we will be discussing how to appropriately connect with your student in order to gain their trust and then disseminate knowledge without an exhausting amount of time or energy. Understanding and using this connection during the pivotal time of your student's life will have an everlasting effect, for better or worse. Bio - Jason has been around the driver's education realm since working in the family business at the age of 15 while conducting receptionist work and then later becoming an instructor. Now an Instructor Trainer and Manager, he gives advice and knowledge to others. In his time off Jason enjoys training others to safely ride motorcycles at a racetrack. He uses this knowledge to race his own motorcycles as a novice. 4:25pm - 5:00pm Speaker - Irv Slosberg or Tara Applebaum Executive Director of Slosberg Foundation. Topic - Dori Slosberg Foundation Programs and Legislation to Fund Driver Education Description:This presentation will provide information concerning the many road safety programs provided by the Dori Slosberg Foundation that are used in schools and community events. Details about the Dori Slosberg Driver Education Safety Act which is the main funding source for driver education in the state of Florida will also be discussed. Bio - Tara Applebaum attended the University of Miami and Long Island University where she graduated with the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Communications. Tara worked with Representative Irv Slosberg on the creation and development of The Dori Slosberg Foundation; a non-governmental, not for profit, public service organization dedicated to traffic safety. Established eleven years ago, the foundation, also known as Dori Saves Lives, is an influential force in reversing the deadly statistics that our roadways produce in Florida. As the Executive Director, she devotes her time to providing a comprehensive approach to solving traffic safety issues with programs such as: the driver education programs in Florida and Driver Education Conference; teen and senior driving assemblies and safety fairs; the DUI 0 Tolerance program & saturation enforcement; and the "Staying Alive on Florida’s Roadways” programs. As a resident of Boca Raton she enjoys being a participant in building the community through her work and the time she spends volunteering with the Dori Slosberg Foundation’s safety partners to assist with the advancement of their programs. She is a member of the Community Traffic Safety Team, an advisory board member of the Safety Council, along with being a member of the Project Graduation Planning Committees, and on the Safe and Drug Free School Board for Palm Beach County. She is proud that the programs that the Dori Slosberg Foundation provides are often referred to as a prime example of what a safety foundation should enact. Friday 11/11/16 Instructors Speakers 9am - 9:55am Speaker - Brian Dolewski Contact info - bdolewski@cmpins.com 630-673-3084 Topic - DSAA Health Insurance Program Description - How a self funded insurance program can benefit your company and your employees. Bio - 10:00am - 11:00am Speaker: Andy Pilgrim Contact Info: (561) 654-5198 and email: andy@andypilgrim.com. Topic: Eye opening Student and Parent traffic safety evaluation data. Description: I have accumulated thousands of evaluations in the last 4 years from students aged 10 thru 18 and from parents across the US. The aim was to see how distracted/unconscious/reckless driving affects young people as they grow up and also understand from parents on how much knowledge they have about this problem and whether they understand their role in and their effect on their children's driving. Much of my data has been shared with NHTSA at their request. This information can help teachers better understand the student mindset by the time they reach a driver education teacher. The Realities of Driving Today DVD/presentation was developed in large part from understanding this data. Bio: 23 years in traffic safety. Spoken at hundreds of conferences, forum's, schools, colleges. Well known to NHTSA and NTSB. 30 years as a professional race driver. 28 years as a business owner in the IT field. I am happy to expand on this as much as you would require. 11:00am - 11:30am Exhibitor Bingo 11:30am - 12:20am (Bolen) Rob Romano / Martin County Schools Topic - Teaching students on the Autism Spectrum. Description - Teaching young adults the proper skills,drill and techniques to have a positive learning experience. Bio - Masters Degree/Education, Ed. M from Temple University. Certified Special Education (ESE) and Health and Physical Education Teacher 14 years. High School Varsity Football & Baseball coach 7 years. Currently teaching at JBHS in the ESE Departments. Drivers Education Teacher at JBHS for 13 years. Personally taught both on road and classroom to over 6,600 students publicly & privately. Teacher at The A Treasure Coast Driving School: The 4 Hour Drug & Alcohol Class, the Point Reduction Class and the Advanced Driving Improvement Class. Chief Operating Officer, (COO) Powerhouse Gyms International based in Farmington Hills, MI. Worked as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Cybex International, a leader in Fitness and Rehab Equipment. Awarded the November, 2011 Driver Educator by the Slosberg Foundation for the State of Florida. Member of Team E-FORCE RACQUETBALL (Sponsored and Ranked Player). Jensen Beach High School Teacher of The Year 2016-17. 12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch 1:30pm - 2:25pm Speaker - Bill Van Tassel Contact info - phone and email Topic - Marijuana impairment: An overview of the effects on driving abilities” Description - Join a discussion on the latest research findings about marijuana’s impacts on driving abilities, including dosage, increases in collision risks, and the challenges of measuring marijuana in drivers. Bio - Re-elected to his third term as Chair of the Association of National Stakeholders in Traffic Safety Education (ANSTSE), the entity responsible for advancing the NHTSA-funded National Driver Education Standards Member of the Committee on Safe Mobility for Older Persons of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Has been qualified as an Expert Witness, providing testimony in driving-related legal trial. Has worked with the US Army at its Safety Center on prevention of Privately Owned Vehicle Crashes. Quoted in many national publications regarding driver safety and training issues, including The New York Times, AutoWeek, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and USAToday 2:30pm - 3:25pm Speakers – Anne Dickerson, PhD, OTR/L, SCDCM, FAOTA & Elin Schold Davis, OTR/L, CDRS Contact info – 252-744-6190 and dickersona@ecu.edu, escholddavis@aota.org Topic: Why Older Drivers Crash and Tips to Keep Them Safer Description:Older adults obey the rules of the road and are generally conservative and safe drivers. Yet the statistics show that those drivers over 75 years have more fatal crashes than all others except for the novice drivers. This presentation will describe the crash statistics for older adults and interpret their meanings and relevance to the work of driving schools. Since the research evidence has shown that the driver deemed to be “at risk” is not specifically related to age, but primarily about the driver’s functional abilities. This session will focus on risk factors for the aging driver and the medically-at-risk driver. The information will include tips, informational guidelines, and strategies driving instructors can use with their older clients. Bio:Anne has been an occupational therapist for over 30 years primarily as a professor in occupational therapy programs. She has been at East Carolina University since 1993 and is the Director of ROADI – Research for the Older Adult Driver Initiative. Anne has an occupational therapy degree from Temple University and a doctorate in developmental psychology from Florida International University. Anne’s research expertise is in older adults and she is a national leader in the occupational therapy practice area of driving and community mobility. She has numerous publications and presented nationally / internationally on the topic of driver evaluation and rehabilitation. She actively involves her graduate students in her research projects including a Driving Bootcamp for teens with autism spectrum disorder. Anne has earned multiple honors from professional organizations and universities for service, teaching, and research and was recently named as a member of the Safe Mobility of Older Persons subcommittee of the National Transportation Research Board (TRB). Elin Schold Davis has coordinated the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Older Driver Initiative since 2003. She is a registered/licensed occupational therapist (OTR/L) and a certified driving rehabilitation specialist (CDRS). As project coordinator she manages funded projects including AOTA’s contract with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) dedicated to build awareness of occupational therapy’s role in senior safe mobility and increase the capacity of occupational therapy programs to work collaboratively with providers and stakeholders to address driving as a highly valued instrumental activity of daily living. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of cognitive rehabilitation and driving & community mobility. Elin has co-edited Driving and Community Mobility: Occupational Therapy Strategies across the Lifespan, and collaborated national organizations dedicated to transportation. She is AOTA’s administrator of the CarFit project, a collaboration between AAA, AARP and AOTA. 3:25pm - 3:55pm Exhibitor Bingo 3:55pm - 5:00pm Speaker - Rich Chidester Lead Instructor/AAA Driver Training Operations Contact info - rchidester@national.aaa.com (407) 444-7549 1000 AAA Drive Heathrow, Fl 32746 Topic - Creative Teaching Techniques Description - Need to add a little playtime into your presentation? It has been said that learning is directly proportionate to how much fun you have. In this workshop, you are going to do just that, have some fun. Attendees will gain insight and practical application of proven student centered teaching techniques. Each attendee will leave with a minimum of 6 creative teaching tips that can be implemented into current training curriculums with little to no effort. Bio -Lead Instructor, Driver Training Operations. AAA National Office. Responsible for supporting and training driving instructors, managing AAA’s Approved Driving School Network, and developing driving safety programs. December 2004 – current. Saturday 11/12/16 9am - 9:55am Regional meetings - gather questions for open forum, conference feedback, future topics and what’s going on in your state 10am - 12pm Topic - What’s Your Problem? (panel discussion) (Brian insurance guy) past president's panel. Board members Speaker - Description - Pick the brains of some of the leaders in your industry Contact info - phone and email

Stay Connected


Our Mission

It is the mission of the Texas Professional Drivers Education Association  to fairly represent and support the teen and adult driving schools of Texas while working with the state and national government to ensure fair and equitable drivers’ education laws as well as work with the agency supervising the driving school industry.