With an ever increasing number of young persons who are anxious to acquire the valuable skill of driving a motor vehicle, the Jamaica Automobile Association (JAA) is seeking to fill the need for competent and professional driving instruction, with the creation of its JAA Driving Academy.
The Driving Academy, which is one of the newest driving schools in Jamaica, provides a comprehensive training programme designed to equip students with the required technical and safety skills to make them ‘road-ready’.
Duane Ellis, General Manager of the JAA, says the driving academy allows the organisation “to instill young drivers with expert training in driving while emphasising road safety, which is an integral part of its mandate.”
“With our certified and patient instructors, we want to provide students with a very positive experience that will equip them with valuable techniques and a life skill,” Mr Ellis noted.
University student, Rachel Bradshaw, can attest to the patience of the JAA driving instructors who trained her to hone her skills behind the wheel.
“Comparing them to another driving instructor that I had previously, the JAA instructor was much better because he explained everything and he not only taught me the skills that I would need to pass the exam, but also other things that would benefit me as a driver,” he explained.
Rachel, who found out about the Academy through her sister, said that the driving lessons took her across the Corporate Area and provided much needed driving experience that helped to increase her comfort level on the roads.
Mr Ellis says all persons who have a Provisional Driver’s Permit can sign up for lessons with the JAA Driving Academy where they will be able to access a standard package of ten one-hour lessons, or as needed.
“Students who sign up for the ten lesson package will benefit from a free extra lesson; and will be able to use a JAA vehicle on the day of their examination free of charge,” he said.
Once registered, students are instructed in a controlled environment where they will master basic driving skills before being allowed to drive on the open road.
He pointed out that upon taking the driving exam, if the student is not successful, “they will receive free use of the vehicle for the re-taking of the driving exam, once they have registered for at least three more practice lessons.”
Once driving students successfully complete the examination, they will receive a special JAA Souvenir package which includes a certificate and a complimentary 45 day JAA membership that will provide access to benefits from JAA Show Your Card and Save discount merchants as well as a 15% discount off a motor insurance policy from JN General Insurance Limited.
At present, the majority of the academy’s students are the children of existing JAA members; however, a number of persons have walked in and requested the service after having seen the learner driver vehicles around Kingston.
“We have also started to do presentations in some Corporate Area high schools, with positive responses from students who are eager to learn to drive with us,” he further stated.
In addition to providing instruction to learner drivers, the JAA Driving Academy also offers refresher courses, Driver Assessments and a Defensive Driver programme.