We all want safe drivers on the road. Safe drivers mean fewer accidents, injuries, and deaths on the road. Part of being a safe driver is experience, which of course takes time. Another part of safe roads, however, is solid driver preparation before drivers get their license. And the key part of driver training is make sure that inexperienced drivers get significant time behind the wheel before getting their full license.
City driving is different from driving in the suburbs or country. Your Brooklyn driving school should be able to provide you with a thorough experience as you learn to drive. Some schools, such as Pierre-Paul Driving School, not only offer driver training for a regular license, but also training to receive a Commercial Driver’s license, especially to be a bus driver in Brooklyn, the rest of New York City, and beyond.
Driver’s License Requirements
You can apply for a learner’s permit in New York at the age of 16. To obtain a permit, you need to go to a DMV office and complete paperwork proving your identity. In addition, you should prepare to take the written test. The test has 20 questions—you need to get 14 correct. You can repeat the test as many times as you need. The learner permit is valid for roughly 5 years.
You will need to complete a Pre-licensing course or take driver’s education at school. In addition to the classroom work, you need to complete extensive behind-the-wheel training.
New drivers under 18 years old must complete 50 hours of supervised practice driving. At least 15 of those hours must be after sunset, and 10 in moderate to heavy traffic. The supervising driver must be at least 21 years old in possession of the license of the type the new driver wants. Parents, guardians and licensed driving instructors all can be supervising drivers. You’ll need to submit a form certifying all hours, and showing the number of hours driving with driving school professionals.
If you are under 18, you must wait at least six months after receiving your permit before attempting the road test. Drivers under 18 in New York City also have other restrictions on when they can drive.
When you are ready, you can make an appointment to take the road test. In your preparation for the road test, you should make sure you are able to demonstrate the following skills.
- Following distance
- Traffic signs, signals, and markings
- Stopping position
- Lane selection and position
- Communication with other drivers
- Observation, anticipation, and reaction
CDL Bus Driver Requirements
Commercial driver’s licenses come in three Classes. Class A CDL allows operation of pretty much any commercial vehicle, with the proper endorsements. A Class B CDL covers smaller vehicles as well as large buses—including school buses. The Class C CDL allows driving of smaller commercial vehicles. Most bus drivers will have a Class B or A CDL.
You may also need to get a Medical Certificate to obtain your CDL.
You will need a valid New York State license to obtain a CDL. To obtain your commercial learner permit, you will need to pass the written test. Driving schools in Brooklyn or other locations can provide instruction to pass the written tests, and the State DMV has published a manual which covers what you need to know to pass the tests.
Everyone needs to take the General Knowledge tests, covered in Sections 1-3 of the manual. All bus drivers will also need to study Section 4, which is the basis for the Bus Driver endorsement. If you expect also to drive a school bus, you need a separate S endorsement. The information for school buses is covered in Section 10 of the manual.
You will then need to prepare for your road test with a supervising driver, who has the license and endorsements for the type of vehicle you plan to drive.
Sections 11-13 of the manual cover the road tests. The first road test is the Pre-Trip Inspection Test, in which you explain to the examiner what you are checking and why. You will walk around the entire vehicle.
The second road test is the Basic Vehicle Controls test. In this test, you demonstrate your ability to back the vehicle, change lanes while backing, parallel parking, and maneuver into an alley dock—a 90-degree turn.
Finally, the third step is the On-Road Driving Test. The examiner will take you over a route covering a variety of traffic situations. You may have to start on an incline, turn, stop at a railroad crossing, merge into highway traffic, and other typical experiences for commercial drivers.
Benefits of Driving School
Many parents can help their teens learn to drive—you can give them the benefit of your experience on the road. But nothing will help produce the safe drivers we want on our roads than time with a licensed driving instructor from a driving school in Brooklyn.
Your professional driving instructor will make sure your new driver has nothing but safe driving habits. Let’s face it, after years of driving we all take shortcuts which may work for us, but they won’t be appropriate for a new driver. You may go at 72 in a 65—because that’s the speed of traffic, which is generally safe. But inexperienced drivers should not be encouraged to do that.
Many driving schools, like the Pierre-Paul Driving School in Brooklyn, will pick you up and drop you off at home as part of their driving package. In addition, the school can offer road-test simulations, allowing you to experience the road test in similar surroundings to the real one you’ll take after training.
If you are interested in becoming a bus driver, the Pierre-Paul school can also help with time behind the wheel. While the CDL doesn’t require a set amount of driving time before the road test, our training will make sure that you are ready for all three road tests.