Toyota helps kids learn to drive

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You might be surprised if your 2nd grader comes home telling you he learned to drive in a Toyota today, but if you live in Lexington, Kentucky, it might be a reality.

Safety City is a “driver’s education” program for 2nd and 3rd graders that combines classroom instruction with student driving experiences that simulate the real world.

Toyota donation to car safety program

Recently, Toyota provided the organization a $49,000 donation toward 10 new, kid-sized, electric cars to replace its nearly 20-year-old fleet.

A partnership between Eastern Kentucky University and the Lexington Police Department since 1990, Safety City offers classes for kids on topics such as traffic safety and seat belt use.

Hands-on driving experience

The 2nd- and 3rd-grade students from the area often attend as a school field trip, where they spent about 4 hours learning about safety subjects such as fire, traffic, pedestrian, school bus and bicycles, 1st in the classroom and then while behind the wheel, where they can apply their knowledge firsthand.

“Early education is critical,” said Lisa Conley, Safety City’s executive director. “The purchase of these cars allows us to continue to give young students a meaningful, hands-on experience to help them develop a foundation of safe habits that will be so important in the future.”

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Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.