On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the House Transportation Committee will host a public hearing on whether parents should be allowed to provide driver education.
Current NH driver’s ed law
Under current state law, anyone under age 18 seeking a driver’s license must provide proof of completing a driver education course.
That driver education course must include 30 hours of classroom instruction, 10 hours of driving, and six hours of observation. In addition, students must complete 40 hours of supervised driving with a parent or other licensed adult over age 25.
HB 1442 would allow the state to waive the driver education course requirement if a parent or guardian provides proof of instruction and training equivalent to a course.
(In the event of a minor having no parent or guardian, this bill would allow another “responsible adult” to provide proof.)
Supporters of parents as educators
Supporters of HB 1442 argue that parents act in the best interest of their children, and therefore should be allowed to provide their own driver education if they believe they can do so adequately.
Other supporters of HB 1442 point out that driver education courses can cost hundreds of dollars, which unfairly burdens low income students that want to get a driver’s license before they turn 18.
Opponents of “DIY” driver education
Opponents argue that drivers under age eighteen are more reckless and therefore require extra education and supervision. They express concern that parents will not provide as much instruction and training as is necessary.
Other opponents of HB 1442 support another alternative for driver education - online instruction.
Should NH allow a parent/guardian to provide driver education instead of requiring a driver education course? Share your opinion in the comments below.