Beacon Driving accepting students

When a teen slides behind the wheel for their first driving lesson, they may have a dozen different thoughts spinning through their heads, like trying to remember where the left turn signal is, or which foot goes on the accelerator. Beacon Driving School owner Jim Newland knows this. He keeps his students focused by first making sure they are comfortable with all he controls in front of them before they ever turn a wheel out onto the road.

With seven years of experience as an instructor, Newland recently opened Beacon, which holds classes at the Vineyard Church of North Grand Rapids, 4700 East Beltline Ave. NE. His years of behind-the-wheel instruction has allowed Newland to create a lesson format that can be specialized to what new drivers need, offering small class sizes to ensure one-on-one attention to detail and optional ride-alongs for parents who want to see how their teens are doing in the driver’s seat.

Moms and dads who want more specific information about how their child is performing behind the wheel can receive detailed feedback by phone, e-mail or in a parent/instructor meeting.

Over the years, Newland said he’s learned that stressing relaxation techniques and positive thinking on the road helps create more confident, skilled young drivers.

“In all my years teaching teens to drive, I’ve never had one parent come back and say they were unhappy with how their student was handling themselves behind the wheel,” Newland said.

Beacon’s special features include teaching teens how to avoid overcorrecting behind the wheel, which can lead to serious accidents, along with how to deal with distractions, and tips for driving defensively.

Like any transportation-based business, Newland says he’s keeping an eye on the fluctuating gas prices. However, unlike other driver’s education companies, he’s not added a gas surcharge or other hidden fee to inflate his prices.

For more informtion call (616) 318-0672 or


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