History of the DSANJ

Compiled by Joseph Lomonico 2/10/98 (Revised July 17, 2001)

The original association of driving schools was started in 1954. It was called "New Jersey Professional Driver Education Association", and James Cerullo (Jimmy Vincent) was the President. In 1964 another organization was formed by a group of driving school owners called "Driving School Association of New Jersey" and Charles Mabee was the first President of the organization.

The next president of the DSANJ was John Hall. Under his leadership, the association began to grow, and an office was rented in Hasbrouck Heights to provide member schools with a classroom facility to meet the requirements for having one imposed by the DMV at the time.

The third President was Thomas Conforti, a businessman who had an insurance broker's license. He indicated that he would give the driving school business three years to determine if the return was worth it financially. He encouraged driving school owners to become insurance brokers as a means at increasing income by having two businesses supportive of each other. At the third year of his having started a driving school, he announced that he was closing his driving school because it was not lucrative enough, and resigned as President, placing Joseph Lomonico, the Vice President into the Presidency.

The association continued to grow and prosper to the extent that it was decided to merge both associations, since many members had membership in both of the organizations. Both organizations arranged a common meeting for the purposes merging. The membership voted to merge the two organization under the name of the DRIVING SCHOOL ASSOCIATION OF NEW JERSEY, INC. with Joseph Lomonico as President, James Cerullo as Vice President, and Dave Peck, Treasurer.

In 1972, DMV Director Ray Marini approved the organization of the Driving School Liaison Committee to enable the DSANJ to discuss common problems, and review the Driving School Regulations and consider suggestions for revisions. It also provided driving schools with representatives to voice complains and concerns in their behalf. The original committee consisted of James Cerullo, Joseph Lomonico, Dave Peck, and Brian Hemsworth. We met with Chief Mockridge, Capt. Peterson, and Lt. Philburp. This committee still meets with DMV representatives, but with our lobbyist present.

In 1991, Robert L. Fox became President of the DSANJ, with Joe Lomonico becoming the Senior Vice President. Joe Lomonico had been President for 20 years. Under Bob Fox's leadership, the DSANJ hired a lobbyist to help press for Driver Safety legislation. The DSANJ has become a viable organization in the eyes of legislators, and has achieved prominence. The DSANJ is on two Governor appointed committees by law, the Governor's Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, and the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Committee.

The DSANJ continues to aggressively work for the best interests of all driving schools by bringing problems to the DMV to be corrected with the assistance of our Lobbyist if necessary. The Association is constantly lobbying for improvements in Laws and Regulations affecting driving schools in New Jersey. Our Lobbyist alerts us to legislation which could impact upon driving schools so that we may move in timely manner to oppose it or support it as may be necessary.

All Driving School Owners are welcome to join the DSANJ and provide input and support for our efforts to improve Highway Safety in New Jersey through making it easier for all schools to improve the quality of their performance. Programs for updating driving school owners are conducted periodically, and a program for training instructor applicants is available when member schools indicate the need for this service.

The DSANJ has currently established a web site to provide the opportunity for members to communicate with the Association. This was developed by John Mihalczo, one of our newer trustees. The website address is www.dsanj.com.

Joseph Lomonico

Senior Vice President

Copyright © 2002: DSANJ : All Rights Reserved