DECEMBER 17, 2020
PLEASE READ THIS URGENT MESSAGE FROM BEHIND THE WHEEL DRIVING ACADEMY
Due to the exploding number of Covid-19 cases and close contact quarantine—and projections of worsening numbers after the holidays—Behind The Wheel is suspending drives beginning January 1, 2021 through at least Sunday, January 17, 2021 throughout our service area. We will evaluate Health Department recommendations during this time and will send another communication if we need to extend the drive suspension past January 17. Updates are also posted on our Facebook page. December 2020 drives will go on as scheduled.
IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR YOUR LICENSE BETWEEN JANUARY 1 AND FEBRUARY 15, 2021—AND YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN DRIVING WITH OUR INSTRUCTORS—YOU ARE CONSIDERED A PRIORITY STUDENT. PLEASE CALL 812-402-7058 DURING OFFICE HOURS TO SET UP YOUR FINAL BLOCK OF DRIVES AND TEST (IF APPLICABLE). DRIVE TESTS ALREADY SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY WILL GO ON AS PLANNED UNLESS WE CONTACT YOU DIRECTLY.
If you are NOT a Priority student, please do not call the office until the week of January 11, 2021 to schedule drives beginning the week of January 18. We anticipate that our phones will be extremely busy that week; if necessary, leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible. Unless we have another potential exposure, the office will be open the first two weeks of January to handle priority student scheduling and any drive/test cancelations, process new enrollments, and issue necessary paperwork.
We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. The health of our instructors, their families, and our students is and always will be our top priority; unfortunately, the level of exposure—and the resulting number of drive cancelations and reschedules—has become nearly impossible to manage. We appreciate your patience, and please do everything you can to stay safe through the holiday season and stop the spread.
NOVEMBER 18, 2020
REMAINING 2020 SEMINARS CANCELED
Due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Vanderburgh County and throughout our southern Indiana service area, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of our 2020 Permit Prep Seminars. Please watch for announcements on this site and on our Facebook page regarding when seminars will return in 2021. We apologize for any inconvenience; and we encourage everyone to take every precautionary measure possible throughout the holiday season to stay safe and keep others safe.
NOVEMBER 11, 2020
With community Covid spread at an all-time high throughout our service area, this is a reminder to all students/parents that if you have been identified as a close contact, you must cancel any drives scheduled with us during your quarantine period EVEN IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SYMPTOMS! We are fighting a battle every day to protect our instructors, their families, every student in our cars, and their families. PLEASE do your part to keep everyone as safe as possible, so we can continue to serve you to the best of our ability.
JULY 9, 2020
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE EVANSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Drivers are typically taught that if they are involved in an accident, they should call the police. However, we have learned that in the case of minor wrecks, the Evansville Police Department is now requesting that you do not contact them; the definition of “minor” includes the following conditions: (1) No injuries; (2) No property damage (other than damage to the vehicles); (3) No fluids leaking; and (4) The involved vehicles can be driven. In these instances, the EPD advises the involved parties to take photos of each other’s licenses, insurance cards, damage to both vehicles, and anything else pertinent to the accident. If needed for insurance purposes, participants can file their own report by contacting the EPD for further instructions. If there is broken glass or other debris on the roadway, you are still advised to call 911 for a cleanup. At this time, this policy applies only to the Evansville city police; the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department is still responding to accident calls. Please share this information with all drivers in your household, and make sure that new drivers are aware of this change. Behind The Wheel will be including this new information in its Permit Prep Seminars.
JULY 7, 2020
MASK POLICY UPDATE
Due to the ongoing occurrence of Covid-19 cases throughout our service area–and the impossibility of providing distance between the student and instructor–we are requiring everyone to wear a mask during drives and drive tests until further notice. We will are still sanitizing the cars between drives, and will take every precaution possible to keep our customers and staff safe; please do the same so that we are able to continue serving you!
JUNE 23, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE FROM BTW OWNER, TODD ERWIN
First, thank you for your patience as we have transitioned back to full operation after nearly two months of closure; we have been able to catch up many students in the past few weeks!
Because it is impossible to provide six feet of distance between the instructor and student in the car, the decision to resume driving was a difficult one. We hope that wearing masks and sanitizing the cars between drives offers everyone a greater degree of protection; but the risk remains.
New Covid-19 cases are still occurring daily in Indiana (and throughout the BTW service area); and nationally, the virus is beginning to infect young people in much greater numbers than it did even a month ago. Therefore, it is imperative that students/parents take responsibility for keeping other students, and BTW instructors and office staff safe! If you have been exposed to anyone that has tested positive or is awaiting results—or if you have tested positive or are awaiting results (even if you are not exhibiting symptoms)—PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE WITH US! If you already have drives scheduled, you must contact the office immediately at 812-402-7058 and cancel them until your health status is clear (we do not charge the No Show fee in the case of illness.) Please be aware that if you have traveled in the past 14 days, particularly to current hot spot areas of the country, you are more at risk of becoming symptomatic or an asymptomatic carrier of this virus.
We want to be able to stay open and continue to provide service to our communities; but it only takes one instance of exposure to close us down again, which will negatively impact hundreds of other students. Your cooperation will help us reduce this risk. Thank you!
JUNE 12, 2020
DRIVE TEST POLICY
We are receiving multiple calls daily from individuals needing drive tests that the BMV cannot currently provide; these individuals are being told by BMV staff to call a driving school to do the test. Unfortunately, the State of Indiana does not allow this; we may provide drive tests only to our students that completed the full course of driver education. For anyone in this situation, we encourage you to continue watching the BMV website at www.mybmv.in.gov for updates to their current policy.
MAY 29, 2020
WE ARE ON THE ROAD AGAIN!
Many thanks to all of our students and parents for your patience and understanding as we have transitioned back to driving after seven weeks of closure; we have been able to take care of many, many students that were already license-eligible, and we are now back to scheduling drives as normal! We are still requiring students and instructors to wear a mask during drives and drive tests, and we are continuing to sanitize cars between drives; this will be the policy until further notice. Our phones are still extremely busy, so if you have to leave a message when you call, please be assured that we will return your call as soon as we can!
MAY 8, 2020
LATEST BTW UPDATE REGARDING OFFICE REOPENING AND DRIVE SCHEDULING
We know this update is long, but please read all the way through and follow the instructions – your cooperation is much appreciated.
Behind The Wheel will be reopening in stages according to the following timeframe:
Monday, May 11
- The office will reopen at 10:00 am (Central time). Priority students that are license eligible AND had their LAST block of drives set up prior to closure will be contacted to complete drives and drive tests this week and next.
- Students that have completed all six drives and ONLY need a drive test may call this week to schedule it. Drive tests will be available beginning:
Tuesday, May 19 (Evansville)
Saturday, May 23 (Evansville)
Saturday, May 23 (Newburgh)
Monday, May 18
- Remaining students may begin calling to schedule drives. Priority will be given to students that are license eligible AND had their FIRST block of drives set up prior to closure.
- If you have not yet turned 16, please be advised that you may be asked to call back at a later date to schedule drives, depending upon current availability and the number of license-eligible students needing drives.
Due to the extremely high call volume anticipated, messages left on our answering system may take a minimum of two business days to be returned; do not leave multiple messages. Please do not email or send drive scheduling requests through Facebook; we will not be able to respond to these individual messages for the next several weeks.
A mask or face covering that securely covers the nose and mouth must be worn for the duration of the drive by both the student and instructor. If there is a medical reason why a mask cannot be worn, you must fax physician documentation of this to 812-626-9368 prior to the scheduled drive. If the student does not have a mask when the instructor arrives, the drive will be canceled and the $50 No Show fee will be assessed. Students will also be required to sanitize their hands prior to entering the car (sanitizer will be provided.) If you or anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms of illness, DO NOT SCHEDULE A DRIVE. If your health status changes after scheduling a drive, please call the office at 812-402-7058 immediately; the No Show fee is not charged for illness or emergency.
In order to give instructors time to thoroughly sanitize the cars between drives, your drive may begin up to 15 minutes later than the scheduled time. Please DO NOT call the office during this 15-minute window of time to inquire about the instructor’s arrival.
Drive slots are critical right now and cannot be wasted. If you will not be able to complete a scheduled drive, you must give the office a 24-hour advance notice so that we have an opportunity to refill it. The $50 No Show fee will be strictly enforced for any missed drive that you do not cancel 24 hours in advance, except in the case of illness or emergency.
To limit exposure for office staff, no walk-in traffic will be permitted until further notice. Paperwork can be mailed, emailed or faxed; if you must pick up something from our office, it will be placed in a container outside our front door. During drive tests, students and parents will be required to wait outside the office (preferably in their own vehicles) until it is time for the test.
The safety of our students and instructors is our top priority; these policies are based on health department and State guidelines, and are subject to change at any time.
Please know that our office staff and instructors are working diligently to serve as many students as quickly as possible. However, it is going to take us many, many weeks to catch up two months of closure and approximately 800 drives; therefore, we cannot guarantee a program completion date for anyone at this time. You can find answers to many frequently-asked questions on www.btwdriving.com; and we encourage you to check the website and/or follow our Facebook page for ongoing updates.
Thanks, and we look forward to talking with you soon.
MAY 1, 2020
BTW OFFICE REOPENING ON MONDAY, MAY 11
Our office will reopen at 10 am (Central Time) Monday, May 11. Priority students that are license eligible AND had their last block of drives set up prior to closure will be contacted by phone the week of May 4 to schedule their remaining drives and drive tests (no driving will begin before May 11.) Our next email announcement will be sent to all active students on Friday, May 8 (and posted here and on our Facebook page) with complete information regarding when remaining students may begin calling to schedule drives/drive tests, and the safety precautions that will be required during drive sessions and tests; at that time, priority will be given to students that are license eligible AND had their first block of drives set up prior to closure. To check BMV branch reopening dates and available services, please visit www.mybmv.in.gov. As mentioned in our previous communication, we respectfully request that you wait for our announcement on Friday, May 8 and follow the instructions in it rather than calling, emailing or sending Facebook messages to ask when drive scheduling will be available. We have much work to do in the next 10 days to reopen and to ensure that we can provide a safe driving experience for our students and staff; and unfortunately, we cannot respond to individual messages at this time. As we attempt to navigate back to “normal” business operations–which will take many weeks and possibly months to achieve–please note also that all time frames are flexible, subject to change, and dependent on continuing local, state and national guidelines and recommendations. Thank you, and we look forward to talking with you soon!
APRIL 30, 2020
BTW CLOSURE UPDATE
We had hoped to be able to give you definite information on our reopen date today; unfortunately, the Governor has indicated that he will not make an announcement regarding the stay-at-home executive order until Friday, May 1. If the order is extended for non-essential businesses, we will have to remain closed; if some businesses are allowed to reopen but we do not fall into those categories, we will remain closed.
When we are allowed to reopen, our first task will be to contact the list of priority students that are currently license-eligible (or will be during the month of May) AND already had their last block of drives scheduled prior to the closure. These drives and drive tests will be completed first and we anticipate that it will take approximately two weeks to accomplish this. Once these students have been scheduled, we will announce the date on which remaining students may begin calling our office to schedule drives. When you call, we will check your license eligibility date; priority will be given to students that are currently license eligible (or will be soon) that had their first block of drives set up prior to the closure. We will provide complete details in our next announcement regarding the requirements that will be put into place during drives such as masks, etc. For students needing a permit or a license, please check the Indiana BMV’s website at http://www.mybmv.in.gov for information on their reopen date and what services will be provided.
We know everyone is anxious to get back on the road; but we respectfully request that you wait for our announcement and then follow the instructions in it rather than calling or emailing to ask when you can schedule drives. You can also always view current announcements on this site or on our Facebook page. It is going to take us many weeks, if not months, to catch up from this closure, and we will need every bit of time available to us to be able to serve all of our students.Thanks for your patience, and we will be in touch again hopefully very soon.
APRIL 17, 2020
INDIANA STAY-AT-HOME ORDER EXTENDED TO MAY 1
Indiana Governor Holcomb has extended the stay-at-home order until May 1. Just a reminder that if we are allowed to reopen on that date, we will be contacting our priority students and completing their drives and drive tests first. An announcement regarding when drive scheduling will be open for non-priority students will be made at the end of April; please watch the email you used when you registered for the program, this website, or our Facebook page. Thanks, and please continue to do everything possible to stay safe!
APRIL 15, 2020
UPDATE FROM BTW OWNER, TODD ERWIN
Todd just posted a new video on our Facebook page, please view it here. For those not on Facebook, Todd thanks everyone who is doing their part to help fight the pandemic; even by staying home, you ARE making a difference. He and the other instructors are looking forward to getting behind the wheel again, when it is safe to do so. When the office reopens, staff will be contacting a long list of priority students that already had their last block of drives scheduled and are now license-eligible or will be soon. Please watch your email, this site or our Facebook page for updates as to when we will be able to reopen and what the process will be for scheduling drives. Until then, please stay home, stay safe and stay well.
APRIL 4, 2020
BUSINESS CLOSURE CONTINUES
Behind The Wheel is continuing to follow local, state and federal guidelines in relation to Covid-19. Since Indiana Governor Holcomb has extended the stay-at-home order for two additional weeks, we will not be able to reopen on April 7 as we had hoped. We understand that not being able to get your license when eligible is just one of many disappointments our students are currently facing; however, we encourage everyone to stay positive, stay safe, and stay home to assist our hospitals and health care personnel from becoming as overwhelmed as other places in our nation are currently experiencing. Remember that you still have full access to the online course; and new enrollments/payments are still being accepted through this website. We will continue to update active students by email, Facebook and this website as new developments occur. #InThisTogether
MARCH 23, 2020
UPDATE REGARDING INDIANA NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS CLOSURE ORDER
As per Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s executive order to shut down all non-essential business activity: as of 5:00 pm (Central Time), Monday, March 23, 2020, Behind The Wheel Driving Academy is closed until further notice. All drives and drive tests are canceled. The office is also closed and voicemail messages left on our machine will not be checked. Students still have full access to the online course; and new enrollments and payments can still be made through this website. All new enrollment paperwork will be mailed by staff working from home; we cannot email or fax at this time. If you are a current student and have an URGENT need for paperwork, please email us at email@example.com. We request that you do not email us to ask when we will resume drives or drive tests; unfortunately, we cannot give you a definitive answer at this time.
If Indiana businesses are allowed to reopen on April 7, please watch your email or visit our website or Facebook page for an announcement regarding when we will resume driving. PLEASE DO NOT CALL OUR OFFICE UNTIL WE HAVE RELEASED AN UPDATE. For information on BMV branch operations, you can visit their website at www.mybmv.in.gov.
Thank you for your patience, and please heed the Governor’s order to stay home and stay safe.
MARCH 13, 2020
URGENT NOTICE FROM BEHIND THE WHEEL DRIVING ACADEMY:
Since the establishment of Behind The Wheel in 2011, we have always followed the lead of school corporations throughout our service area in relation to health and safety issues. Therefore, due to the expected closings of many of the schools in our service area, Behind The Wheel has made the difficult decision to suspend drives in areas under containment for the coronavirus. AS OF MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2020, IF YOUR SCHOOL/CORPORATION/DISTRICT IS CLOSED, ALL SCHEDULED DRIVES WITHIN THAT SCHOOL/CORPORATION/DISTRICT ARE CANCELED. THIS ALSO APPLIES TO HOME SCHOOL AND ONLINE SCHOOL STUDENTS, AND ADULT DRIVERS. Drives will be suspended beginning on the day that the school/corporation/district closes and for the duration of the closure, including spring break if that week falls during the announced closure dates. IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED YOUR SIX DRIVES AND HAVE A DRIVE TEST SCHEDULED WITH BEHIND THE WHEEL, PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE AT 812-402-7058 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
We did not make this decision lightly, and we regret any inconvenience or delays to licensing that this may cause. Our number one priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and instructors; and also to serve our communities in a responsible and proactive manner.
Unless the situation changes drastically, Behind The Wheel office operations will continue as usual; office staff will be available to accept new enrollments, process paperwork and answer questions. Students will also continue to have full access to the online course. However, since we have no way of knowing how long closures may last throughout our service area, please do not call to reschedule a drive until the school corporation/district in your area has announced that it will reopen; we will be monitoring these announcements on a daily basis. If school corporations/districts announce extended closures beyond the initial period, we will reassess the situation and keep you informed of any change to this policy.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions. Please continue to follow CDC, State and local recommendations to keep you and your family well during this time.
Todd Erwin, Owner
Behind The Wheel Driving Academy
February 10, 2020
MEET OUR NEW INSTRUCTORS Zac Mattingly, a teacher in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation for 21 years, has joined the BTW team! Zac looks forward to helping students gain confidence and become comfortable behind the wheel; and when he is driving, his favorite destination is a beach! Zac is ready to drive with you…call today and get started!
January 24, 2020
MEET OUR NEW INSTRUCTORS! We welcome Johnnie “Dallas” Conner to the BTW team! Dallas graduated in 2019 with a degree in Criminal Justice and is in the process of becoming a police officer. As a driver education instructor, he wants to help new drivers become confident on the road. When he’s behind the wheel, his favorite driving destination is Miami, Florida. Dallas is ready to drive with you – give us a call and get started today!
January 17, 2020
MEET OUR NEW INSTRUCTORS! Dan Bolin is employed by the City of Princeton and also coaches tennis at Wood Memorial High School. He believes the most important things a driver education student should learn are how to share the road and how to become a defensive driver. When Dan is behind the wheel, his favorite driving destination is the Smokey Mountains. Welcome to the BTW team, Dan!