Hi, my name is Sarah Bruce and I’m the proud owner and operator of Drive Skills 4 Life.
Kind, calm, patient, non-judgemental. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but these are the words clients use to describe me all the time. I guess that’s what makes me a perfect fit as a road safety educator… who wants to get yelled at or made to feel stupid when you’re behind the wheel of a car, already feeling nervous?
The word ‘sorry’ is also not allowed in my car. Whilst I’m supportive and nurturing, I firmly believe that you have to make mistakes to learn. And I’ll let you make them – safely of course!!
The most important advice I give to my students is that patience is definitely a virtue. Learning to drive safely, with lifelong good habits, is not a race. Unfortunately patience is not high on the list of typical teenage qualities, so I always ensure that my young learners take the time to understand why they are doing what they’re doing not just how.
Working with nervous, anxious, learner drivers is my specialty. If you’ve been in an accident or suffer from social anxiety, and the thought of getting your license scares you to bits, rest assured I am qualified and experienced to help. Don’t be a slave to public transport or rely on others to get around – I can help you gain confidence and achieve independence in no time.
I’m often asked, ‘why did you become a driver trainer?’ The answer lies in a horrific incident that left a huge hole in my heart. Without knowing it at the time, this incident was the catalyst for my life’s work: to help create safer drivers and thereby protect families from heartache.
In 1984, two of my closest mates organised a trip to the snow. I was asked to go, but blew them off for another event. The weekend came and when I was walking home from a friend’s house my parents pulled over to give me a lift, which I thought was odd. When we got home they sat me down and told me David had been killed in a car accident driving home from the snow. Rod had survived but was bruised and heartbroken.
In that moment everything changed. I realised that my own life could have been lost had I gone on the trip with the boys and I recognised how short and fragile life could be. To this day, 36 years on, there is not one week that goes by where I don’t think about David; that incident still unnerves me.
Interestingly, after many careers, such as Bank Manager and Education Support Officer, as well as time at home as a mum, I ended up working as a license tester for VicRoads. Initially the thought of it scared me senseless! Having completed my training however I realised how fantastic the opportunity was. Why? Because I got to witness firsthand how people from all walks of life and ages reached their goal of being independent.
The flipside of this role however was the frustration I felt at observing so many new drivers who knew how to pass the test but who were not truly equipped to drive safely in all sorts of conditions and situations. These feelings, coupled with the memory of David’s road tragedy, catapulted me into action; within two years I had started my own driver training business.
Since inception, the focus of my driver training has been on students gaining the skills to drive safely for life, not just to pass their test. My programs are all about repetition, for it is only through repetition that habits are formed – and it is good, instinctive habits that will save lives on our roads.
Other bits about me…
Mum to two gorgeous young ladies.
Follower of the mighty Saints.
A lover of books and great company!
Certificate of Education Support, Certificate IV Business Admin, Diploma of Management, Cert IV Transport and Logistics, (driving instructor, manual and auto), Cert IV Training and Assessment, Certificate of Mental Health First Aid.