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Law Aims To Boost Drivers Education Participation

Greg Wagoner

Hoosier teenagers who take driver’s education classes will be able to get their license a little sooner under legislation set to take effect in July.

The bill’s author hopes the change will incentivize more young people to go take driver training courses.

Under current law, teens who don’t take driver’s ed can get their license at 16 years, nine months old, while teens who do take driver’s ed can get their license three months earlier, at 16 and a half.

State Rep. Ed Soliday’s, R-Valparaiso, legislation puts a little more separation between those two groups, allowing teens who complete driver’s ed to get their license at 16 years, three months old.

“A lot of kids are now waiting and not taking driver training and a lot of kids – the demographics have shifted – are waiting and not doing anything until they’re 18 and so the death and accident rate is falling into that group,” Soliday says.

Soliday says accident data is also behind another change his bill makes.

Teen drivers are currently required to complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving before getting their license, and the supervisor can be any licensed driver who’s at least 25 years old.

Now, the person supervising a teen driver must be at least 25 and related to the teenager, whether by blood, marriage, or legal status.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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