Local Author Helping Drivers

When students start drivers education they’re given the Illinois Rules of the Road book, but a Naperville resident hopes to give them another educational tool as they start to learn how to drive.

Parents use their first hand experience to teach their children how to drive. John Hermata took that one step further when he wrote down the tips he learned from decades behind the wheel and shared them Paul Zientarsk, who was in charge of the drivers education program at Naperville Central.

“A couple of years after that, a customer of mine, because I own my own business, came to my shop and she has this booklet with her. She says ‘did you write this?’” said John Hermata, author of What Teenage Drivers Don’t Know: The Unwritten Rules of the Road.

“And sure enough my name is written all over it, so I said I guess I did, where did you get this from? She said they gave it to my son he’s in the drivers ed program at Naperville central. And I thought wow something really came of this.”

Years later, John and Paul met again this time to take the tips and create a book that could be used in schools.

“Kids only get six hours behind the wheel with a teacher, so any additional resources they can bring home is helpful,” said Zientarski, who consulted on the project.

“There’s a little bit more in depth about knowing certain things about your car, warning signs and the most intriguing chapter of the book has to deal with your day in court,” said Hermata. “What happens, what you can expect to happen, how you should dress I mean there are things that are covered, but this goes into much more detail.”

Zientarski hopes that by reading the tips from experienced drivers students won’t have to learn their lessons the hard way.

“Driving is a huge responsibility and we need to make sure that our kids are prepared before we’re sending them out into cars,” said Zientarski.

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