Should driver’s education be a class?

Driving is an essential part of modern life, how else are people supposed to get around easily without the automobile? Many students at Leigh High commute to school, leaving their cars in our large parking lot. And yet, it is harder than ever in some places to actually get a driver’s license. Getting access to a car is harder than purchasing a firearm, as you are required to get a license and undergo mandatory training to purchase an automobile.

Some schools offer driver’s ed as an elective, teaching students how to drive, taught by a professional driving instructor. The classes eventually allow students to get a learning permit and even a license to drive, as well as providing the necessary hours of practice.

To become a driver, one needs 30 hours of practice with a trained driver, usually a parent or guardian. But what about the cases where one’s guardians are either unable to drive, or simply don’t have the time?

“A lot of people don’t have access [sic] for their parents to teach them how to drive, and since there [are] no classes that teach you anymore it’s really hard to actually figure out a way to do it” said Darcy Della-Maggiore, junior, “You need a lot of hours driving, and again people’s parents aren’t available, so it’s really hard to get that.”

Though there are many issues with the DMV as well, making getting the necessary forms difficult, for some the chief obstacle to some people is money.

“I don’t have too much personal experience with bureaucratic struggles in getting a license but I do think its unnecessarily expensive”, said Kira Werner, junior. There are many online organizations and resources available to those who wish to learn how to drive, but these can upwards of $100 and paying for a driving instructor is even more expensive, at $300 or more for three two-hour lessons.

The most popular argument against driver’s education as a class is that it would be too expensive to get money for cars and to pay for new teachers. It is true that such a program would require a larger budget, but if parents are willing to pay a little extra money for marching band and theater, it is possible that a similar arrangement could be made for driving. Leigh could begin a driver’s education program with a similar structure to band or theater, with donations from parents helping to keep the class afloat. In this way, rich parents would be able to support their kids with larger donations, and poorer parents would not need to shell out as much money for a driving instructor.