Defensive Driving opens in Smokey Point

Larry Pierce, co-owner of the Smokey Point Defensive Driving school, enjoys teaching his students the fundamentals of ‘street tag.’ - Kirk Boxleitner
Larry Pierce, co-owner of the Smokey Point Defensive Driving school, enjoys teaching his students the fundamentals of ‘street tag.’
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

SMOKEY POINT — The Defensive Driving chain of schools has opened up a new branch in Smokey Point, in Suite 20 at 3405 172nd St. NE across from the Department of Licensing, and Larry Pierce, co-owner of the Smokey Point Defensive Driving school with his wife Sue, proudly touted the ways in which his driving school differs from others.

“How we teach people to drive is so different that KOMO and KIRO have done news stories on us,” Pierce said. “What we train drivers to do is play ‘street tag,’ where you call out to your driving instructor what you’re seeing as you drive.”

The Defensive Driving school’s “street tag” has an entire list of acronyms and nicknames to sum up common driving scenarios and obstacles as simply and briskly as possible.

“A BLT is what you say to indicate the threat of another driver pulling a bad left turn in front of you,” Pierce said. “As an instructor, those tags let me know that a student sees all those warning signs. These are things that safe drivers should be looking out for anyway, but we apply a quick and easy language to them. Most students pick up the terminology right away, and most parents like it, because they like knowing as much as we do what those kids are noticing and paying attention to on the road.”

The Defensive Driving school offers more advanced methods to teach drivers how to handle road conditions in rain or winter weather.

“Our skid training simulates losing control of your car at higher speeds, by making one of the wheels much smaller, so that you’ll lose control at lower speeds, but safely in an enclosed area,” Pierce said.

Located behind Rite Aid and next to Bigfoot Music, the Defensive Driving school in Smokey Point provides the DOL-approved written knowledge and driving skills tests that are no longer offered at the Smokey Point DOL.

Knowledge tests are $24, for two attempts if needed, on a walk-in basis, while skills tests are $40 in the applicant’s car, which must meet safety conditions, or $50 in a car provided by the Defensive Driving school.

Call 360-386-8819 or log onto for the Defensive Driving school’s class schedule information and online registration.


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