Teens need driving courses to hit road

Claire Rives, 15, learns the rules of the road with the help of instructor Don Brock at Brock's Driver Education Schools Inc.
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Claire Rives, 15, can't wait to get her driver's license.

The process for Claire and other teens to get a license in Georgia is a bit more complicated than it used to be. Joshua's Law, approved in 2005 and implemented in 2007, requires 40 hours of supervised driving, six of which must be at night, and a driver's education course for teens to drive at age 16. If they don't take the course, they can't get a Class D license until they're 17.

Claire wanted to drive at 16, so she took the class this spring and is working on her driving hours.

Ashleigh Lee, 17, a recent graduate of Evans High School, chose to wait and forgo driving at 16.

"My family is kind of tight with money, so we didn't really have the money for the classes," she said.

In addition, she had friends who drove and she didn't feel ready to drive at 16. At 17, she feels prepared. She knows the laws from getting her permit and takes shortcuts to avoid tricky spots such as Washington Road when it's congested. There are other restrictions on new Class D drivers: For the first six months, they can have only immediate family members as passengers, no friends. That's so they will pay attention to driving.

"I don't like the six-month rule," Claire said, but she understands why it's in place. "People are talking, texting."

Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or sarah.owen@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (10) Add comment
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emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 06/23/09 - 07:44 am
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It should be illegal for them

It should be illegal for them to use a cell phone while driving as well. There is nothing so vitally important that a 16-year-old needs to be talking on the cell phone while they're driving!

PantherPride
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PantherPride 06/23/09 - 08:39 am
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I agree they need training,

I agree they need training, but quite honestly, they are too young to drive. Just being a teen often makes them wreckless and not situationally aware.

oldenuff2nobetter
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oldenuff2nobetter 06/23/09 - 09:33 am
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Drivers Education should be

Drivers Education should be put back in the school system.

fishman960
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fishman960 06/23/09 - 10:01 am
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I remember I was driving at

I remember I was driving at 12. Has my first accident at 14, where I totaled a car smashing into a telephone pole. Yes, I was trying to do a burnout in the rain. What an idiot I was (and very lucky!).

up2nogood
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up2nogood 06/23/09 - 10:28 am
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Drivers' Ed. classes are very

Drivers' Ed. classes are very costly and would necessitate a tax increase to support it. Leave it to parents and the private sector.

pichijojo
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pichijojo 06/23/09 - 12:39 pm
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I wish there was a cheaper

I wish there was a cheaper option than the classes because I can not afford them but desperately need my daughter to be able to drive at 16. I would love to see driver's ed put back in the school system...even if we had to pay a small fee.

workingmom
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workingmom 06/23/09 - 02:10 pm
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I agree that the driver's ed

I agree that the driver's ed course should be offered through the school system. When I took it, it was taught after school hours by a few of the teachers who were certified to teach it. I'm not sure how they were paid back then but surely it could be done less expensively than some of these driver's training facilities.

augnewsgirl09
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augnewsgirl09 06/23/09 - 07:22 pm
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Emergencyfan, it should be

Emergencyfan, it should be illegal for both teens and adults regarding the cell phone issue. I see just as many adults texting and talking on the phone as I do teens.

youallkillme
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youallkillme 06/23/09 - 07:49 pm
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What many people don't know

What many people don't know is that alot of money was also set aside when Joshua's Law went into affect for Drivers Ed. classes in the state but it's not being used. All Highschools should have Drivers Education and it should be funded by the state. It would definately cut down on some teen accidents. Schools offer other classes but don't you think that driver safety is important as well? I just don't get it.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 06/24/09 - 10:21 pm
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When I took driver's ed it

When I took driver's ed it was taught by our coach, during school hours. Courses like that saves lives. The cost of the course to be included in school is far less than losing lives or children becoming handicapped in accidents. These outside driver-training schools cost far too much and are relatively inaccessible to young people. Bring it back to our schools.

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