Driver’s Education in Schools

As the parent of a teenager, do you attend meetings of your local school board? I don’t attend as many as I would like, but I do try to attend meetings when an issue about which I have strong opinions is discussed. The upcoming meeting of our local school board is one such meeting.

Our local school board will be discussing reinstating driver’s education, which hasn’t been offered in our local schools since 2004, due to budget cuts and the cost of offering the course. I live in Georgia, where the school systems do not receive state funding to pay for driver’s education courses. This makes absolutely no sense because in 2005, state legislators passed Joshua’s Law, which requires 16-year-olds to take a state-approved driver’s education course and complete 40 hours of supervised driving to get a license.

Joshua’s Law is named for Joshua Brown, a 17-year-old Georgia boy who died in 2003, shortly after graduating from high school. On a rain-slicked road, his truck hydroplaned and crashed into a tree. He had not taken driver’s education. His parents, Alan and LuGina Brown, dealt with their grief by forming the Joshua Brown Foundation.

The non-profit organization’s mission is “to establish networks between public, private, and government partners to make technologically advanced driver’s education available for every teen.” Joshua’s father, Alan Brown, will be speaking at our school board meeting to explain how affordable driver’s education can be. This is one of those important meetings that I feel I can’t afford to miss. Before long, my daughter will be out on the roads driving alone. I want her to have every advantage she can possible have on dangerous roads where teens lose their lives every day.

If your school system does not offer driver’s education, or if you feel their current program could be improved, I urge you to visit the website of the Joshua Brown Foundation.They explain the options of using computers and driving simulators in driver education courses-options which could save teen lives on the road.

In addition, they have information on car selection and maintenance, driving skills, and insurance and responsibility. It’s a great site for teen drivers and parents of teen drivers. The driving skills of our teenagers is an issue that affects every one of us. Make sure that you get involved in this important issue at the local and state levels. Let your voice be heard!

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