License to Teach

Ken Sansevere, driving instructor for Formula One Driving School in Mamaroneck.

Photo by John Rizzo


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What’s your best tip for parents whose kids are learning to drive?

Know that when you’re behind the wheel, your child is watching. If you drive the way you want your child to drive, you can rest comfortably when your kid is out driving at night.

Is your job stressful?
Only when I’m trying to get from one place to another to pick up a student on time and there’s traffic. I’m a driving instructor; I can’t speed.

Has a student ever received a ticket while driving with you?
No, but one was pulled over and got a warning, though he actually hadn’t done anything wrong. The cop thought he had run a red light, but, actually, he had gotten stuck in an intersection when the light changed. In that kind of situation, we teach students to go.

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What’s the most common mistake students make?
Letting too much time elapse between when they check to see if it’s clear and when they actually commit and go.

What’s the most number of times a student took the road test?
One student had taken the test twelve times before she came to us; she passed on her thirteenth try.

What’s a typical mistake people make during their road test?
They forget that the examiner is judge and jury. Just because they know there’s no car coming, they still have to demonstrate that.

Are some test sites easier on students than others?
There’s really not much difference among the five sites. I’ve had a group of kids in the morning complaining that New Rochelle was so hard, and that same afternoon another group will talk about how New Rochelle is so easy. Just pick the one closest to you.

Have you ever received any traffic tickets?
None for moving violations. I was pulled over and got a warning once for going through a stop sign. I thought I had stopped for a long enough time. The cop didn’t.

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Who taught you how to drive?
My father. But he never gave me the car to go and actually take the road test until I was twenty-four. He knew that when I got my license, I’d want the car for good—and he was right.

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