Barbara Panco – First Romanian Woman Being a Driving Instructor

© – Barbara Panco, First Female Driving Instructor

During her 4th year at the Faculty of Foreign Languages (University of Bucharest), French Department, Barbara Panco started to teach French at a school in Bucharest, but after learning  about the Professional Driving School of ITB (nowadays, Bucharest Autonomous Transport Administration), she felt that becoming a driver will bring her complete satisfaction.

Once graduating the driving school, Barbara started to work as a truck, taxi or bus driver, and she was even a driver on IMS (IMS is considered the first Romanian car). In her free time, she raised her children and attended rallying. She won several prizes at Female Rally and Driving Skills Championships at the beginning of the 80s. Furthermore, also in her spare time, she read many books, books that taught her things from various fields such as mechanics.

About 10 years of professional driving  later, Barbara decided that a change is needed and wanted to become a licensed driving instructor. In the 70s, she tried to enter to an authorized driving school in Bucharest, but the director was somewhat surprised that a woman wants to become a driving instructor. But another director from a driving school in Buftea (Ilfov county) gave her a chance and, finally, Barbara managed to become the first female instructor in Romania.

In the 90s, the approved driving instructor worked as a professional driver on freight trucks, but after 2 years, she returned to Bucharest as an independent driving instructor. The customers “have multiplied” on the basis of recommendation and, in present, she has more than 1500 clients who learned to drive under her guidance. Also, in collaboration with Constantin Mageanu, Barbara Panco published “Legislația rutieră pe înțelesul tuturor” (book which presents an easier way to understand and learn road traffic rules and notions of mechanics). The book was released in 2008, at Humanitas Publishing House, publisher that has recently opened a new bookstore on 38 Regina Elisabeta Boulevard, near Cișmigiu Park, Bucharest.

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