Don-Tre Driving School: Parents Play A Role In Training Safe Teen Drivers

Don-Tre Driving School in Berkeley Heights. Pictured from left to right: Peter Carpenter, Donald Carpenter and Carol Policastro. Credits: Bobbie Peer

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Don-Tre Driving School, a full service  professional driving school, recently opened their "new storefront" in downtown Berkeley Heights. Donald and Peter Carpenter, the school's owners, have been teaching students throughout New Jersey since 1988 -- with a primary purpose of educating teens to save lives and reduce motor vehicle accidents.

Don-Tre Driving School prepares students to drive through driver theory classes and behind-the-wheel experience. With safety of teen drivers as their primary focus, the school has recently partnered with Share the Keys - educating teens and parents, alike, to cultivate safe driving attitudes and behaviors.

This orientation for parents is designed to reduce teen driver crash risks by increasing parental involvement. "Parents are key to safe teen driving," said Peter, "assuming they're a good role model behind the wheel."

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Parents have to reinforce through their actions, said Peter. Studies have shown that parenting styles have a direct impact on teen driver safety: teens whose parents set rules and pay attention to their driving activities in a helpful, supportive way are half as likely to be involved in a crash. 

"Research has also revealed that teens who requested permission to use the car were fifty percent less likely to be involved in crashes. Drivers whose parents controlled the keys were also less likely to violate the provisions of the 'Graduated Driver License,'" stated the Share the Keys resource guide.

The school prides themself on customer service and their commitment to the kids. "We strive to meet the scheduling needs of our clients, as well as their instructional needs," said Peter. 

Don-Tre Driving School employs instructors who are trained educators. "We have school teachers and coaches instructing," Donald said. "When a kid gets picked up, he's picked up by a professional that knows kids." The school is centered around the children who attend -- "most of our instructors understand that because they're working with kids all the time," said Peter.

Though the school focuses on teens, they are not the only potential customers. According to Donald, Don-Tre Driving School also provides behind-the-wheel instruction to adults. "For people who live in New York and don't have cars because they don't need them, then move out here and call us, we'll give them lessons," he said.
Don-Tre Driving School also offers lessons off the road. The business provides an online defensive driving course that allows eligible students to remove two points from their driving record upon successful completion. "It's a 6-hour course, and it's offered to any licensed driver," Peter said.
According to Donald, this online course enhanced his company. "When I taught the 2-point class, I'd have to go to a classroom and teach for the six hours," he said. "Now you can just go online."
For more information about Don-Tre Driving School visit their website or call their business number at (908) 206-9977. 
A few facts about New Jersey teen driving according to Share the Keys resource guide :
  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people in NJ and across the nation between the ages of 16 and 20.
  • Teen crashes are most often the result of distraction, inexperience, speeding, and/or failure to yield.
  • The most dangerous time on the road for teen drivers is between 3 and 6 p.m., followed by noon and 3 p.m.

Facts about the NJ Graduated Driver License law:

  • may not drive between 11:01 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • may only transport one passenger, unless the driver is accompanied by a parent or guardian or the passengers are the driver's dependents (children).
  • can not use a cell phone or any other hand-held wireless electronic devises.
  • must ensure that they and all of their passengers wear seat belts.
  • must display the GDL decals on any vehicle they drive.
  • face a fine of $100 for a violation under the GDL law.
  • may not plea bargain any point carrying offense.

Editor's Note: Don-Tre Driving School is an advertiser with TAP into. To learn more about becoming an advertiser, please call (908)279-0303 or email

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