USA TODAY had an interesting story Thursday about how driver’s education, on the wane in public schools for many years, is becoming more popular.
A generation ago, driver’s ed was in almost every American high school. But as time passed, more and more students took the course from private instructors.
In Virginia, the state Department of Motor Vehicles requires residents 19 and under to take a state-approved driver’s education course and to hold a learner’s permit for at least nine months before getting a full driver’s license.
In Virginia Beach, the school board talked about cutting drivers education in 2008 because of high costs, long waiting lists and accounting issues.
After debate and discussion, the school board decided to raise driver’s education tuition from $100 to about $350 – enough to make the program break even on its own, but still less than many private providers.
However, there is still a debate among experts about the efficacy of driver’s education classes. The director of the Center for the Study of Young Drivers at the University of North Carolina told USA TODAY that there is some hope for greater effectiveness of a dramatically revised version of Driver Training (not simply education), but at present that impact will be speculation.
However, an executive at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety told the newspaper that driver’s ed is “not effective in reducing crashes. It’s a lot to expect that a relatively limited amount of time with a teen could have a big effect on their risk-taking behavior.” My response to this is: if we don’t train them when they are learning, when should we train them? After they develop bad habits? The point is to update and modernize how we teach young drivers-and if this can happen at schools, great.
I hope schools everywhere put safety first and offer driver’s ed to all students.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.