State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it harder for teens to obtain a license in Colorado.
Right now, a teenager between the ages of 16 and 18 can be issued a driver’s license after holding a permit for a year and completing 50 hours of driving under a supervisor, such as a parent. Ten hours of those have to be night driving.
Senate Bill 23-011 would add additional requirements. Yesterday, I went to a driving school to find out more.
Driving is something most teenagers look forward to. But getting a license isn’t always easy. Just ask Simon Bargeron how many times he has tried to pass his driver’s test.
“Twice so far, yeah,” said Bargeron.
And learning how to navigate through this isn’t easy either.
“It’s a new experience, but it’s not necessarily a good experience, I guess. Me, personally, I guess I kind of stress it out every now and then,” said Bargeron.
Simon says learning how to drive has been a bit of a challenge. He hasn’t taken driving school classes, but he has completed 50 hours of supervised driving, and he’s studied the laws of the road in his own time.
“Like the skills that I learn don’t really transfer over. Especially after they reschedule you at the DMV for months at a time because then you kind of just forget the laws and the regulations that they are teaching you,” said Bargeron.
He isn’t alone. Road Star Driving School’s south location owner, Jessica Allen, says teens aren’t the only ones struggling.
“I’ve had a lot of parents come to me and say, 'I’m just really struggling to teach my kid how to drive. I’m a nervous Nancy in the car and it makes my kid nervous, and I don’t really know what to do' so they’ve come to me and said, 'I know this isn’t required, but they’re super nervous. Can you help?'”
Jessica is passionate about teaching young drivers the rules of the road. That’s because she has seen how the toll reckless driving can leave on her loved loves.
“I’ve had friends and family be involved in really traumatic incidents on the roadway. One of my good friends was paralyzed from the waist down, so being that is an industry that I can teach and help others and then the owner gave me a franchise opportunity, I had to take it. Because day in and day out, I know I’m doing something that is helping the community, helping educate the younger generation and hopefully saving some lives,” said Allen.
Jessica says she can see the difference between drivers who take a driving course and drivers who do not. She believes Senate Bill 23-011 is a good thing.
“I think it could be beneficial for the safety of our roadways. There’s a lot of information that before I was trained, I didn’t know either, so being in this industry, getting trained, I’m a safer driver and now it’s my goal through road star driving school to make our younger generation safer on the roadway. And to lose less teens every year, less injuries, less fatalities,” said Allen.
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