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NH needs an online driver ed option To ...

NH needs an online driver ed option

To the editor:

Now that the driver ed bill (HB 1440) has passed the NH House 240-74 with bi-partisan support, it heads to the Senate. As the prime sponsor I'd like to clear up some misunderstandings about the bill.

First, the purpose of the driver ed bill is to make our roads safer by allowing an affordable (under $75) online driver ed option. Currently teenagers, who aren't able to pay for a driving school course, are waiting until age 18 to get their license, because at age 18 they aren't required to take driver ed.

These teens never learn that speed kills. They never learn how to avoid distracted driving. They never learn how to scan the road for hazards. Do we want them driving our roads not knowing these things? That just isn't safe!

Second, high-quality online driver ed courses, such as the ones the NH Department of Safety would approve, are completely secure. It is impossible to cheat on these courses and students must score 90% or better on the test for each level before advancing to the next level. There are seven levels in all. In addition, these courses will be customized for NH and will include the most up-to-date, cutting edge, driver education information.

Third, insurance companies give discounts for approved, high-quality online programs with parents providing behind-the-wheel training. Insurance companies, who are experts at assessing risk, know parents will do a great job providing behind-the-wheel training after they complete their own online course on how to teach their teenager to drive.

Last, driving schools will continue to stay in business. Driving schools will always be in demand. The students most likely to choose the online option aren't even potential driving school customers, because they can't afford a $500 to $900 driving school course. HB 1440 expands the driver education market. It makes our roads safer by encouraging more teens to choose to become educated in this vital area.

(603) 948-2264

State Rep. Laura Jones
March 18, 2012

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