This 1954 black and white documentary film Tomorrows Drivers is presented by Chevrolet dealers (:07) and produced by Jam Handy Pictures (Jam was also a U.S. Olympic swimmer). It details an early education safety consciousness driving program aimed at kindergarten through third-grader students at Garfield Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. James (Jimmy) Stewart is the storyteller. Actors Charles Bernstein, Haskel Welch, and Thelma Bennett play roles. A group of six-year-old children shown standing in a classroom (:16) are now driving child-size peddle-push Chevys on a closed course of miniature roads, complete with road signs, as an experiment in driver’s education (:47-1:27). A traffic jam at an intersection is interrupted by the teacher (1:28-1:39), which is now duplicated by real Chevy cars on a real road (1:41-1:58). A mother drives a 1954 Chevy BelAir while taking her young daughter to Garfield Elementary runs a stop sign (2:00-2:19). Children play in the schoolyard (2:20) before sitting in an auditorium (2:43) to watch the program. First is a magic safety show performed by a police officer (2:52-3:19). Next, a game of musical chairs has been modified as they study traffic light signals (3:20-3:38). Outside the classroom, a group of first-graders and their teacher cross the street at the crosswalk (3:39-3:55). Classic scenes of a teacher seated up front with a small group of students while the rest are seated at their desks is shown (3:56-4:17). The children practice good driving skills with toy vehicles (4:18-4:55). Outside, Chevy has created this miniature driving course at the school, with cars that have real tires, headlights, and horns (4:57-5:10). A car mounted on blocks is called “The Phoenix Link Trainer” in which the student displays a knowledge of hand signals and how the car works (5:11-6:07). The Advanced Course is complete with traffic signals, crosswalks with pedestrians, and policemen, as the first-, second-, and third-grade children take turns being each one (6:12-6:37). Tickets are given to violators and driving privileges are suspended (6:38-6:53). By the time they enter fourth-grade, the children are well aware of the safety laws of being a driver and a pedestrian (6:54-7:30). The older children next move to bicycle safety (7:30-7:42). When they reach the age for the driver’s ed car, a 1954 Chevy BelAir 4-door, they’re already familiar with the rules of the road (7:43-8:06). Hot rod clubs are organized by the police and a race is shown between with a hot rod (8:06-8:40). An officer on a motorcycle pulls over a teenager, who then meets with the judge due to reckless driving in a Chevy BelAir (8:41-9:08). Phoenix has a “Attitude School” requiring ten hours of schooling by police, including a written examination. Scientific instruments explain depth perception and reaction time. School concludes with a ride in a patrol car before getting a license back (9:09-10:08). A well-dressed teenager escorts his date to the car before driving off (10:09-10:37). Adult driving habits also improved under the program to set better examples (10:38-10:58).
We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference."
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
May 13, 2022 Subject:
neat little film narrated by Jimmy Stewart about an elementary school in Phoenix that has a driving program where they start with the kindergartners teaching them about traffic safety. Eventually the kids move up to pedal cars and drive a course with city streets, country roads, stop signs, traffic lights, and even cops. Would be cool to have one of those pedal cars now. Never had one when I was a kid.