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Baton Rouge lawmaker wants Louisiana to take control of driver’s education

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Written by
Mike Hasten
mhasten@gannett.com 

 

BATON ROUGE — If you or your teenage son or daughter want to get a driver’s license, a course sanctioned by the state could soon be required under legislation approved by a House committee Tuesday.

In House Bill 534 by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, all driver training courses taught in schools or at private driving academies would have to comply with a uniform set of regulations on how much classroom and driving time are required.

Nick Gautreaux, commissioner of the Office of Motor Vehicles, said it is important to have uniformity in requirements. Also, instructors would have the same training.

“In some schools, kids are only driving three hours,” he said. “There are people taking kids in cars and driving them around for eight hours and saying that’s eight hours driving time.”

Gautreaux said “it’s really important for kids” to have many more hours behind the wheel before qualifying for a license because the accident and death rate among young drivers is too high.

The commissioner said he approached Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek about taking over control of drivers education classes offered in some schools and the superintendent agreed. About 20 percent of young drivers take classes in public schools. The remainder takes classes from private instructors, according to OMV records.

“This bill puts no one out of work,” Gautreaux said. After obtaining certification, school teachers and coaches who currently teacher drivers education in schools would be eligible for employment at private businesses that provide driving courses.

Carter’s bill was sent to the House floor with a 12-5 vote.

Among the changes are striking the maximum $50 fee for taking a driving class.

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Written by demon53

May 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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