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Local driving school slammed with appointments, scheduling complaints after COVID-19 shutdown

Posted at 10:42 PM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 23:25:04-04

PARMA, Ohio — After hours of online classes, Paige Kohlor finally got behind the wheel. Friday was her very first in-car driving lesson at Professional Driving School in Parma.

“I’ve been looking forward to it. I just want to be able to get them done,” Kohlor said.

But securing this lesson took some time.

“I just kept checking the schedule to see if there’s any new openings,” she said.

Training Manager Mary Kaye Speckhart said Kohlor is not the only one.

“Once we opened our doors it was like the flood gates just flooded with all these kids coming in,” Speckhart said.

Speckhart said she gets about 30 messages a day from parents and students trying to schedule lessons and some of them cross the line.

She read one in part that said, “I will find out who I need to contact to file a complaint. This is ridiculous.”

The problem is there aren’t many openings. Coronavirus cut Speckhart’s team down to about 25 instructors, spread out across 25 locations.

“[Students] do have a contract that they have six months to complete the course, it’s not like it has be done right away but they feel they should have it done in a week or two and it’s just not something that can be easily done right now,” Speckhart said.

As her team risks coronavirus exposure, wearing masks while enduring two-hour lessons just inches away from first time drivers like Kohlor, Speckhart hopes the community will cut them some slack.