Mr. Richey, also known as the "Street Preacher," has written traffic safety curricula for teens and adults for more than 20 years. An ordained minister and certified counselor, he's taught at universities and higher education institutions across the country in the capacity of a "moral educator"--which is to say, he believes that driving itself, especially at higher speeds and in more intensive environments, creates more immediate demands on us as a society to mediate conflict among and between each other in our driving world. The "sociality of driving," as he calls it, is our never diminishing, always intesifying condition of trying to get along with fellow motorists. to avoid conflict. Conflict in the forms of road rage, aggressive driving, near-misses, and of course, collisions.
In his 5-week class, Mr. Richey challenges students and parents to reflect on their actual driving condition, as a call to self-awareness in the even one's emotion starts to rise and ferment with the distinct possibility that they may get the better of someone. Now there is law and then there is driving etiquette, which we also should observe as a driving society in order to behave in a word, more altruistically toward others. These two impulses, to observe morally the rules of the road and at the same time to look out compassionately for the sake and safety of the other driver, are what underpin the materials of the entire course.
Our Driving World: It all starts with the Law
We always begin classes by looking at traffic laws, because that's where the "legitimate" task of driving begins either with the instructional permit or licensing process. State laws, municipal laws or ordinances all must comport with federal law, but are often nuanced in WA state requiring very careful elucidation in the class. If students have difficulty learning in a virtual setting, they may miss out on the explanation of these laws. To supplement the remote environment with better learning tools, Mr. Richey and his staff provide students with pdf attachments of readings and questions pertaining to the WA State Driver Guide.
Vehicles: The variety or preferred medium of transportation
The second week of class we look closely at an entire spectrum of the "media" of transportation we encounter or use in our Driving World.. After all, this is where teenagers really want to find themselves, behind the wheel of some car or truck. But they must become thoroughly familiar with both the standard and unique features vehicles have, well before attempting to operate them in "the wild"--Mr. Richey's word for the actual infra-structured and public driving environment.
Week three, we examine the 3-degrees of roadway systems beginning of course with the most common, the 2-way road. Every society, every villiage and city has them. Not every place has an expressway. Given this priority, Mr. Richey calls this driving in the "First Degree." It is more dangerous than driving in the "Second Degree," which is actually a safer environment than that composed of by all our intersecting roads: the Freeway and other 1-way road services. Richey's "Street Law#9" then addresses all of the ways, all of the variants, all of the variable conditions that conspire to affect the former two, "All of Driving is Adjusting." Adjusting to traffic conditions, adjusting to weather conditions, adjusting to road conditions, etc.
The Human Factor: You, "The Driver"
The final component of our driving world, and the most important one to consider, is the driver her or himself.
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