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Tuesday, March 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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911 Driving School’s Trunk or Treat combines Halloween fun and driver safety

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 25, 2017, 4:54 p.m.

911 Driving School cars are seen Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. The school, in partnership with Second Harvest food bank, will hold Trunk or Treat at 6314 N. Ash St. Saturday to celebrate Halloween and raise awareness of driver safety. (Terence Vent / SR)
911 Driving School cars are seen Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. The school, in partnership with Second Harvest food bank, will hold Trunk or Treat at 6314 N. Ash St. Saturday to celebrate Halloween and raise awareness of driver safety. (Terence Vent / SR)
By Terence Vent The Spokesman-Review

Every Halloween night, tiny ghosts, goblins and ghouls prowl our local neighborhoods, sharing information about which homes are handing out full-sized candy bars while their parents look nervously over their shoulders, wishing they hadn’t watched a scary movie right before they left the house.

The most dangerous predators on the street won’t be wearing hockey masks and waving machetes, though. They won’t even know they are predators.

“There are twice as many child pedestrians killed on Halloween compared to any other days of the year,” said Wendy Seitz, who with her husband owns the 911 Driving School. “It’s important for us as educators to make the situation safer [for] motorists as well as trick-or-treaters and their families.”

The 911 Driving School is partnering with Second Harvest to hold a Trunk or Treat event at 6314 N. Ash St. from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday. Families can have their picture taken with a monster-themed vehicle, and costumed children can pull gift kits out of the trunk. “(We) have a vested interest in drawing awareness for driving safety on Halloween,” Seitz said, “but we want to make sure the trick-or-treaters are having fun, also.”

Gift kits will include reflective bracelets and necklaces. “(We want) to make sure that the kids have (reflective devices) incorporated into their costumes,” Seitz said, “so motorists can see them.”

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies Jeff Papen and Andy Finley founded the 911 Driving School, a subsidiary of the Driver Training Group, in 2005. Current or former police officers and first responders take advantage of their unique training and experience to provide students with a thorough, well-rounded driving education.

“All of our instructors are either police officers or firefighters,” said Seitz. “They have a vested interest in keeping the roadways and the Spokane community safe.” The Seitz family opened their school in 2006.

The school offers traffic safety education – Driver’s Ed – as well as traffic safety classes, AAA driver improvement classes and mature driver classes. “We do a lot of different types of services,” said Seitz, “but the majority of the clients we see are teenagers for Driver’s Ed.” Each year, 1,100-1,200 Spokane area teenagers work their way through the program.

Canned food donations will go to Second Harvest. The school will provide coupons for up to $20 off of their 2018 classes, taking $1 off per donated can.

“We have partnered with Second Harvest in the past, and they’ve been very successful,” said Seitz. “We are really hoping to be able to fill the trunk.”

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