Driving Lessons in Knoxville
Who are we?
Drive-Rite Driving School is a full service driving school, with all types of instruction. We started out as Safeway Driving School. Safeway started training new drivers here in Knoxville back in 1943. In the early 80’s we started developing several types of classroom programs under the name of Drive-Rite. We have developed safe driving programs for novice to professional drivers across East Tennessee throughout the years. Just a few of the companies we have worked with over the years are, University of Tennessee Department of Logistics, Knox County Schools, Union County Schools, Hiwassee Mental Health, Terminx, Russell’s Pest Control, Tennessee Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Maryville Christian School, Greenville Seven Day Adventist Academy, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Methodist Medical Center, to name a few. Through this development we saw a shift in how our customers identified our company as a whole which facilitated using Drive-Rite as our overall brand name. By combining the strength of Safeway and Drive-Rite we have developed the preeminent driving instructional school in East Tennessee.
Safeway to Drive-Rite
Safeway Driving School was established in 1943 by William E. “Bill” Love. Safeway had been successfully teaching the behind the wheel portion since its beginning. Drive-Rite Driving School started as a division of Safeway in 1989. Drive-Rite was a division that was developed to focus more on the classroom aspect of teaching driving. Drive-Rite allowed the addition of other types of classes for individuals with learning disabilities, court referral, knowledge and skills assessment, as well as fleet services safety training classes.
Craig Smith the current owner has been with Safeway / Drive-Rite Driving School since 1989 and was instrumental in developing the methods for the classroom instruction. He was born in Knoxville and grew up in Blount County. He attended William Blount High School. During high school he was active in FCA, drama club, wrestling, and was captain of the football team. During this same time he was also active in his church’s youth group and Royal Ambassadors. He was elected Royal Ambassadors state president and was invited to be a SBC Page at the national Southern Baptist convention being held in Los Angeles, CA.
Craig attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. He majored in business finance. While at ETSU he was active in Sigma Nu fraternity. After college he worked for Nation Wide Driver Improvement Services Inc. before starting to work with Safeway Driving School. He did his training with AAA in Louisville, KY to be able to be an instructor. His instructor trainers were Charles A. Butler and Dr. Francis C. Kenel of AAA. Craig says, “Training under Dr. Kenel is, in my opinion, was very valuable as he was a consultant in developing many modern safe driving programs and manuals.” “Dr. Frank, as he is referred to, also consulted on our own states (TN) driving handbook.” Craig is married to Sheri Smith for 20 years. They attend Redemption Church International where he is over the Service Department. They have three children and four grandchildren.