Interview with Chris Agganis
How Two Safe-Driving Advocates Took on the State of Massachusetts—and Won
From Kindling to Media Bonfire
In 1996, when George Agganis was easing out of the business, son Christopher Agganis stepped up to the plate. He was hardly a newcomer. Like his two brothers and sister, he had always been involved in the business in one way or another.
Chris Agganis “I started developing my own business plan for the school while still working for my father,” Christopher says. “I intended to carry on the Agganis teaching approach, but I wanted to go further in raising awareness about road safety.”
George Agganis’s long and frustrating struggle with state officials did not escape his son’s attention. “I knew I had to take it one step further,” he says.
Where his father corresponded with state officials by letter, Christopher opted for a more in-your-face approach. He turned to the media to drive home the message that safe driving instruction was a public interest issue. His name started appearing in newspaper editorials and letters to the editors. He was interviewed on local news spots.
“I put my all into this,” Christopher says. “Everything in my life went on hold—marriage, family, friendships—to pursue this issue.”
His diligence has paid off. Christopher has become a respected, continuous, and perhaps thorny presence to state legislators and RMV officials.
As an outspoken lobbyist for driver’s education reform, Christopher has successfully petitioned for:
- Increasing behind-the-wheel instruction from 6 hours to 12 hours
- Adopting more stringent regulations for drivers ed schools that contract with high schools
- Ensuring that high school driver ed programs meet the same certification requirements as commercial schools
- Across-the-board licensing of all driving schools in MA
The Flame Keeps Burning
In the classroom, Christopher has taken his father’s philosophy and run with it. He’s developed a curriculum, for example, that exceeds the basic information in the Massachusetts driver’s manual. His research has led him to some of the best driving instruction materials in the country. Christopher continually invests in teaching tools—including videos and computer software— proven to enhance driving students’ decision-making abilities and comprehension.
“Let’s make one thing clear,” he says. “I care very much about the students. But my main concern is that the roads are safe. For you, for me—for everyone.”
Our Students Comment
I love the Agganis Driving School course and I think that it teaches you a lot of useful information that will definitely be helpful when it is your time to be on the road. I liked the fact that my instructor Chris made things extremely fun and entertaining. It made me laugh at least four times during each class. Eventually everything he taught stayed in my head. His teaching methods were very well thought out and helpful.
I liked how Chris inspired us to be the best drivers and always think. He was also real funny and one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.