SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Rocco DeLorenzo admits that when he first started driving last year, he was slow on the road.
His mom says he might go 10- or 15-mph in a 30-mph zone.
His slowness was not excused by other drivers. DeLorenzo remembers them aggressively passing him or tailgating. Their aggressive response made DeLorenzo even more nervous.
That’s when DeLorenzo decided to contact his dad’s printing company in Cortland.
DeLorenzo design “Student Driver” magnets to alert passing cars that he was just that: A student driver.
Similar to the markings on a drivers education car, the warning to other drivers was the trick. DeLorenzo instantly noticed drivers having more understanding and giving him space.
He doesn’t need the magnets himself anymore, but he wants other student drivers just learning to benefit from them too.
DeLorenzo is mass producing the magnets. A set of 4 (one for each side, two for the back) costs $15 and 100% of the proceeds will also help other student drivers.
Last year in drivers education classes, which many Central New York teenagers take at Corcoran High School, DeLorenzo says he noticed more suburban students than city students.
DeLorenzo did some homework and discovered that at almost $400 per student, the classes were too expensive for many families. He says drivers education has become a luxury, not the right he feels every teenager is entitled to.
So far, raising $1,200, DeLorenzo is working with his drivers education teacher, John Hohm, to establish a scholarship to help students from families with limited financial resources pay for drivers education.
The guidance counselors at Corcoran High School are developing an application process, to make sure the money goes to students who need it.
People can pay via Rocco’s GoFundMe page.
On Saturday, August 3, Rocco will be selling his magnets in person at the Eastwood Market Day. The event runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the United Healthcare parking lot.