“I didn’t like how people would drive on the road around us and I wanted to fix that,” Klarfeld said of his time driving an emergency vehicle. “I thought that if I could become a driving instructor, I could fix that.”
Klarfeld, 28, who grew up in Beachwood and now lives in University Heights, noted that some teens, in particular, don’t quite know what to do when confronted with an emergency vehicle.
“They freeze, or go to the left,” he said. “An ambulance will always pass on the left.”
In order to get his messages about safe, proper driving across, Klarfeld has taken ownership of Overbeke Driving School. He does so while currently working as driver training manager at the Cleveland Jobs Corps Center, where he teaches low-income teens how to drive.
Klarfeld also stresses the importance of wearing seat belts.
“You don’t get killed by wearing seat belts,” he said. “Reckless driving can kill you, but seat belts can save you.”
Today, he said, many young drivers don’t get the training many of us did when driver’s ed was taught in schools. Rather than pay for a course, many parents wait until their children reach age 18 when driver’s ed is no longer necessary to get a license. As a result, Klarfeld said, “A lot of them don’t know what to do. You can’t just put someone in a car when they’re 18 and expect them to know what to do.”
Under Klarfeld’s direction, classes will teach boys and girls separately to avoid any desire on the part of teens to show off.
Klarfeld, who along with his University Heights-raised wife Ariana, is a parent of twin boys, Jake and Max, also has taught seniors who have lost their license due to medical problems so they can be re-tested. He has also taught the disabled how to drive.