More options coming for required driver's education - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

More options coming for required driver's education

October 5, 2006

Albany-- Starting January first, all Georgia 16-year-olds must complete a certified driver education course before they can apply for their license.

But many South Georgia teens are having a hard time scheduling a class they can attend. The Georgia Driver Education Commission in the next month will offer teens more opportunities.

Starting at the first of the year, all 16-year-olds must complete an approved course with at least 40 hours of supervised driving and 30 hours of classroom education before applying for a driver's license.

Brett Nobles took his course at Deerfield Windsor school, but they only accept 40 students and teach it only in the summer. The Georgia Driver Education Commission knows there are more teens than spots in approved courses, so within the next month they will announce more options for completing the requirements, including classes over the Internet.

Nobles says his training made him a better driver. Nobles said "I feel like I'm a lot safer driver than I would be without taking it."

Driver's Ed instructor Gordy Gruhl says more training will make teens better defensive drivers, and reduce the number of crashes. Gruhl said "If there is a collision, it doesn't matter who is right or wrong. That's not gonna help you much if you are in the hospital."

16-year-olds have to complete an approved course or wait until their 17th birthday to apply for their driver's license. Nobles says more teens will take the training, so they can get their driver's licenses as soon as possible. Nobles said "Everybody wants their license when they are 16, they don't want to wait. I think it's good, because it help us be a lot safer."

The Georgia law requiring 16 year olds to complete driver's training before applying for their license is known as Joshua's Law, named after Joshua Brown, a teenager killed in a auto crash. His father helped draw up the new law.

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