Iowa DOT to investigate driving school after video shows instructor encourages speeding, arguing with another driver

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Transportation says they have "strong concerns" after seeing a video of an instructor from Open Road Driving School during an apparent driving lesson.

In a video sent to TV9, an Iowa City instructor encourages a student driver to break driving laws to catch up to another car- with the goal to confront another driver.

In a statement to TV9, ownership with the driving school said in part the issue was "dealt with swiftly and resolved." However, after seeing two videos posted to a public Facebook account, officials with the Iowa DOT said it, along with the Board of Educational Examiners, will conduct an investigation.

“We reviewed the content of the two videos posted on Facebook and we have strong concerns about what we saw in those,” said Melissa Spiegel, the Director of the Motor Vehicle Division for the Iowa DOT. “We will be investigating in coordination with the Board of Educational Examiners.”

The instructor encourages a student driver to catch up to another car.

"Go faster, go faster, we're going to get right up next to him," the instructor says in the video.

The student then runs a red light as they follow the car in front of them.

""Go, go, go- you're going, and then get behind them, left lane," the instructor says.

Then only seconds later, the instructor confronts the driver of the other car.

"What kind of person flips off a drivers-ed car?" the instructor says. "A student learning how to drive. For real?"

"Learn how to stay in your own lane," the driver responded.

"There's this giant thing in the back that says 'student driver,'" the instructor said while both were stopped at a red light. "But no, you're a real big man flipping off a 14-year-old."

Ownership with Open Road Driving School declined TV9's request for an interview, and did not identify the instructor in the video.

One driving instructor who also saw the videos said it teaches bad habits- and sets a poor example.

"Definitely don't like seeing that kind of educating going on," said Ron Bandy, an independent drivers education instructor in the Iowa City area. Bandy also serves on the board for the Iowa Association of Safety Education. "I don't like seeing that. I don't think too many people do. When you engage with that kind of behavior, you're putting a lot of folks in danger."

Bandy says it is all the more reason to teach and practice good habits behind the wheel in his car- saying he holds his own standards for teaching future drivers.

"I had better expectations than to witness that," Bandy said. "I was disappointed and I hope that it can be corrected."

Jenny Turner, the owner of Open Road Driving School, sent the following statement to TV9:

“We are aware of the two incidents that occurred last week. Both issues have been dealt with swiftly and resolved. What happened was unacceptable and goes against who we are as an organization at large. Every year, over 6,000 hours are driven with our students and we have worked hard to develop a positive reputation in the communities we serve.”