Originally created 12/05/06

Internet details new driver requirements



State officials recently completed a Web site dedicated to helping teens learn the rules of the road.

Created by the Georgia Department of Driver Services, the site (www.gateendrivereducation.com) details the changes to driver education requirements as mandated by the Legislature's passage of Joshua's Law in 2005.

The Web site also lists methods of meeting the new driving requirements, a question-and-answer tool and the names of 223 public and private driver's education programs, and it includes a virtual driver training program.

"(The site) has been live for a while, and we've been adding components as they were approved and available," said Susan Sports, a spokeswoman for the Department of Driver Services. "Now, all of the options are available via the Web site."

Since the Web site went up in October, it has received more than 12,500 hits.

The online training component of the Web site was created to make access to driver's education easier for rural and poor teens, a spokeswoman for Gov. Sonny Perdue's office said.

"It's a comprehensive program that will satisfy the classroom portion of the law," Ms. Sports said.

Students will receive a certificate stating that they have completed the online training.

The law, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires that all 16-year-olds applying for a Class D driver's license complete an approved driver's education course and 40 hours of supervised driving, six of which must be at night.

Parents and guardians will be allowed to verify that their teens completed the driving portion of the new requirements, Ms. Sports said.

Any teens not meeting those requirements will have to wait until they are 17 to get a driver's license and still must complete 40 hours of road training.

In Columbia and Richmond counties, 2,028 15-year-olds will become eligible for drivers' licenses next year, Ms. Sports said.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 113, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

REQUIREMENTS


- Teens must have held a learner's permit for one year and a day.

- Teens must produce a certificate of school attendance and a Social Security number.


- Teens must produce an Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program completion card.


- A parent or legal guardian must be present at the time of issuance.

On the Net

- www.gateendrivereducation.com