Driver Training Grant Recipient Steps Up

  • Author | Heather Hughes
  • 5/4/2023 7:15 am

Each fall, Public Entity Partners offers members who participate in our Automobile Liability Coverage the opportunity to apply for the James L. Richardson Driver Training Grant. This is a matching grant that members can use to offset the cost of driver safety-related items, such as instructor-led training, backup cameras, alarms, motor vehicle record checks and more. 

In 2022, the City of Pigeon Forge was awarded this grant and intended to utilize this money to have a driver simulator brought to the city for training. Unfortunately, when Darby Bushey, risk manager for the City of Pigeon Forge, attempted to schedule the simulator training, he was quickly made aware that it was out of rotation due to the need for significant upgrades. However, this did not deter him. 

To utilize the grant funds wisely, Darby pulled out “plan B” and became a Certified Defensive Driver Trainer. He is currently scheduling the training of 380 of Pigeon Forge’s 482 employees who drive city vehicles. 

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to PEP for making the James L. Richardson Driver Training Grant possible,” Darby said. “The financial assistance from this grant has provided us with a great opportunity to make our drivers become more aware of safety while behind the wheel, even in their personal lives, with their families. Thank you for the generosity and continued support. I will work diligently and will eventually give something back to others as an instructor.” 

For more information about PEP’s Grant and Scholarship Programs, please contact Tahtia Mitchell at