The State of Driver’s Education Today

Everywhere I turn I see that the media is down on “teen” drivers. I don’t get it. Driving has not change all that much since Henry Ford dropped an engine in a wooden frame and scared the crap out of all the horse and buggy types in town.

What has changed is how driving class is taught. It has gone to ‘Hell in Model-T’ just like the rest of the school system.

As far as I am concerned it is the parent’s responsibility to teach their child how to properly operate a motor vehicle. The problem is that parents aren’t allowed to do that anymore. It’s now up to the school district.

From where I’m standing it’s all about money. The more the school district is involved the greater the possibility that someone’s palm is getting greased somewhere in the chain of your child’s driving education.

When I went to school, we had so many hours of classroom and so many hours behind the wheel with a school teacher turned driver’s ed instructor. The rest of the time I was out with my father. I drove around the block, up and down the highway, out to the Klamath Glen and back, Crescent City and back, learning to Parallel Park, safe backing, etc.

In class we studied for our driving test. We watched the messy movies of highway death. We learned about drinking and driving. Yet out biggest educators were our parents, grandparents or someone else other than the school system.

Of course, I see adults driving around my age yakking on cell-phones, reading newspapers, drinking coffee, correcting kids and such while burning old dinosaur meat at 70 mph on US 395 and I-80. What makes it worse is to see the Nevada Highway Patrol zip right on by the majority of these folks as if they were late for their next donut stop. And we wonder where teens get their big ideas.

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