Driving school to make Utah more dangerous, more expensive
Driving school in Utah is making it more dangerous for students, and less affordable for taxpayers, a state senator said on Wednesday.
The bill passed the Utah Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 22-1, with the bill now heading to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
It would make Utah one of the first states to require students to drive at least 15 minutes per hour while in school.
The driving school is a partnership between the Utah State Department of Education and the Utah Department of Transportation.
“I think it’s absolutely critical for our kids to be able to be educated and to be safe,” Senator Mike Noel, a Republican from the Salt Lake City area, told the Associated Press.
“You cannot drive a car that’s a danger to others.”
The driving schools currently teach a “critical thinking” course for about 300 students, with an additional 400 expected to attend, according to the state’s Department of Public Instruction.
Students are also taught how to navigate public roads.
The state of Utah, which was one of only nine states to pass a ban on school-based driving, has seen a sharp rise in accidents in recent years.
Last year, the Utah Highway Patrol said it arrested 4,700 people for driving under the influence, including 521 drivers under the age of 18.
The Utah Department on Wednesday reported an increase in car accidents last year of about 16 percent compared to the same time last year, according the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Driving in the state of Colorado is a big risk for everyone,” said Sen. Joel Anderson, a Democrat from the Provo area.
“It’s not just for kids.
It’s for the rest of us.”