Driver’s ed idea ill-advised | Editorial

Straight from the state Legislature’s “What are they thinking department” comes a bill proposed by a well-meaning lawmaker from Lynden, who wants to save parents money by giving them the option of teaching their teens to drive. Indeed, driver’s education is not cheap, and unfortunately there are few alternatives. Classes for teens at the Sears Driving School in Bellevue start at around $500.
Teen drivers cause more than their share of injury, death and heartache. The risk of being involved in a car accident is higher for drivers 16 to 19 years old than it is for any other age group. For each mile driven, teen drivers, ages 16 to 19, are about four times more likely than other drivers to crash. Millions of insurance dollars are spent each year as a result of teen accidents. The reasons? Inexperience and poor judgement.    
Studies have shown that time behind the wheel with a parent greatly increases a teen’s chances of being a better driver. And time is the key. Many parents would take the time to school their children carefully. Others may not. Private and public classes add a measure of seriousness to the business of learning to drive a car. Saving money in this way seems foolish and would no doubt create another layer of regulation and rules. Perhaps finding a better way to make driver education more affordable to all is what is in order.

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