Car of the Month: Behind the Wheel with Booth

By Curran Gilster, Managing Editor

Freedom at last! When a teen turns 15 and a half they can finally get their permit. However, this is only the first step to becoming a licensed driver. That is where Mr. Brian Booth comes in. He teaches a week-long course that shows young drivers the essential skills they need to be safe on the road. One of the most overlooked things in this class is the car itself.

“It’s a 2016 Chevy Malibu,” said Mr. Booth. “I like to deem it like a car that maybe one of my grandparents would drive; it looks very old school.” The vehicle comes with a dual brake, automatic transmission, and moving seats.

Mr. Booth was given the car by FCPS in 2016 with a shockingly low ten miles on it. This was a huge upgrade for him and the students who would take his class. “The car I had before this one was a piece of junk, wires hanging down by the brakes!”

While Mr. Booth has taken countless students out on the road in the car, a few specific experiences stand out.

“We’re driving down the highway going about 24 mph and the speed limit is 65 mph,” said Mr. Booth, sharing one particularly memorable trip. “I get her to speed up and I could tell she's about to die on the inside. She jerks the wheel, we’re fishtailing into an exit, and I’m pretty much crying without the sobbing. We come to a complete stop, and I end up driving home.”

The Behind the Wheel car has been through a lot. It is the gateway to a whole new world of mobility and independence. Memories, from the mundane to the incredible, have been forged within its four doors. “The car was great,” said Luis Rios (12) “I loved everything about it except we couldn’t play music while we drove.”