New Hampshire's Virtual Town Hall
By Chuck McKenney
New Hampshire's House of Representatives is making it easier for teens to get a driver's license. The potential law change has nothing to do with safety, rather it's one related to money.
complete an additional 20 hours of supervised driving time under the supervision of a licensed parent, guardian, foster parent, stepparent, or grandparent who shall have no convictions in the past 10 years for reckless driving under RSA 265:79, driving or operating under the influence of drugs or liquor under RSA 265-A:2, or aggravated driving while intoxicated under RSA 265-A:3. The commissioner shall adopt rules relative to the method of certification. This additional supervised driving time shall replace the supervised driving time performed by the driver education course instructor as part of a driver education course.
“The purpose of HB 1440 was to keep low-income teens from falling through the cracks,” bill sponsor Rep, Kyle Jones, R-Rochester, told the Union Leader. Jones claims teens who can't afford the driver training courses wait until age 18 to take the state's licensing test when the training requirements no longer apply.
How structured is the 20 hours of supervised parental driving likely to be? Are parents more likely to pass along pointers or will they run through legitimate scenarios?
As a society, parents are already too busy to fully monitor their children's behavior in and out of school. Now we are expecting them to devote 20 hours of driver training.
Here's my biggest gripe - most people are average drivers, at best. Do we really want them passing along their bad habits?
The Legislature needs to strengthen our driver training laws, not make them easier. I'd support laws that force adults to retake the driving test every ten years. I'm convinced fewer than 20% of drivers properly adhere to Yield signs.
Why does cost and convenience trump safety with this issue? Cars are 2,000 pound weapons.
I'd rather subsidize the education courses for low-income teens than make the process easier.