SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In Georgia, a group of lawmakers, educators, and others are looking for ways to maximize driver’s education course participation across the state.
The Peach State is just one of several states that do not require teens to take a driver’s ed class in person.
Instead teenagers can get a license with 40 hours of parent or guardian-taught driving time, and 30 hours of online instruction.
A meeting Monday brought together state leaders who are hoping to enact some real change when it comes to the requirements for getting a driver’s license in Georgia, specifically for first-time, teenage drivers.
“Adolescence will get you in trouble for a lot of reasons. And you need to be mature when you get behind the wheel and take things seriously. It’s a matter of life and death," said GA Representative Bill Hitchens.
Representative Hitchens was one of several state lawmakers at the meeting offering up potential solutions at Monday’s meeting.
He said legislation is already being drawn up that will increase the percentage of money raked in for each traffic citation to go toward driver’s education.
Hitchens said, “I love the thought of bringing it back into the school system, but I can’t imagine that most school systems...even the money...would have the ability to run everybody through. I mean, what do we got...3,600 kids in the high schools just in this county."
Hitchens referenced Effingham County.
It was a private citizen who helped bring all of these leaders to the table to find ways to make driver's education more accessible for all Georgia high school students.
Kevin West said driver’s education needs to be administered by trained professionals across the board.
“Mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, myself...even you...we’re not instructors. We’re not certified people here. We’re not the ones that should be giving these kids driver’s ed," West said.
The group acknowledged there's still a lot of work to do on this issue, though they believe necessary for the safety of all on the roads.
We’ll be sure to track any new legislation in the upcoming session related to funding driver’s ed programs during the upcoming legislative session.