Case Studies

Federal Way: Mobility Education

The Mobility Education Foundation ran a mobility-education pilot course in Federal Way, Washington, in 2007. The Federal Way Public Schools Traffic Safety Education program typically offers two sections of driver education at Todd Beamer High School. The foundation offered one of the two sections an expanded “Driver Education PLUS” course with supplemental training run by Mobility Education instructors.

While Washington State required only 30 hours of instruction spanning a minimum of 35 days, the standard Federal Way Public Schools Traffic Safety Education “Driver Education” course included 34 hours of classroom and 6 hours of behind the wheel (BTW) instruction. Classroom lessons were taught in 17 after-school meetings over two months, and BTW instruction was held during six drives meeting the state requirement of 6 hours. The “Driver Education PLUS” curriculum supplement involved 12 hours of additional instruction:

  • 6 hours of training on bicycles
  • 2 hours of transit training
  • 2 hours of walkable communities training
  • 2 hours of technologies training
  • Mobility Education Foundation representatives taught the supplemental instruction and attended the 17 other classes to participate in class discussions. Students of both driver education sections took a 20-question quiz on the first and last day of class.

Quiz questions assessed student knowledge regarding safety, health, environment, cost, and operations of the multimodal transportation system. Students in the PLUS pilot were more knowledgeable with respect to the true costs of transportation and had transit and cycling skills that were superior to their peers who attended the standard Driver Education course.

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.