We have reached another year and as usual we find ourselves in a position of fighting for the very life of driver education in North Carolina. For most of us, this is not a new thing. We have fought for nearly twenty-five years to save, defend and maintain a vital program for the newest drivers in North Carolina. We have shown over and over the importance of a good driver education program and yet we are in a more vulnerable position than ever before. As you know, after June 30th, 2015 there is NO FUNDING for D.E. besides the maximum $65.00 students pay which passed in the short session. NC General Statute states every LEA must offer D.E. It is still a requirement for those under age eighteen. Many of us are leery that there are those in the NC Legislature that want to pass the entire cost on to the student/parent. In talking with our members from Manteo to Murphy, it is the general consensus that NC would lose fifty percent of student registrations (or more) if students and parents have to pay the full cost of a course. It is generally expected that the cost to students would be in the three to four hundred dollar range. Teachers in our counties tell me they would expect to lose 70 percent of their students if this were to happen. The long and short of the story is MANY people in NC either cannot or will not pay that fee. That leaves new drivers either driving without a license or waiting until they are 18 to get a permit/ license, which negates the effects of the GDL program. Either way, everyone in North Carolina will be affected with increased crashes (injury and deaths), higher insurance rates, and the loss of one of the best D.E. programs in the nation. On the brighter side, the NCDTSEA Board of Directors along with Mr. Reginald Flythe (DPI) and Ms. Susan Harrison (Lobbyist) are working overtime to get the word out to students/parents and other stakeholders about the urgency of our message. At the moment, we have several key groups that are supporting us: AAA of the Carolinas, the North Carolina PTA, Independent Insurance Agencies, The North Carolina Charter School Association, the North Carolina Home School Association, several key Legislators and other interested groups. The Association has an information pamphlet that we are in the process of distributing to students that will be eligible for D.E. in the 2015/16 school year. IT IS VITAL that every D.E. program in the state get this information out to our students and parents. It is VITAL that all of us contact our Senator or Representative with our concerns. One legislator made the statement, “I’m getting calls but the calls are from D.E. teachers. I need to hear from parents and students.” Identify your senator and representative, get their email and phone number and share it with anyone who will call or write them. If you are a contractor, I encourage you to talk to the people who support your program: mechanics, fuel suppliers, insurance agents, tire dealers and others that depend on your program for business. If you are an in-house program, talk with your principals, superintendents, school board members, parents or anyone else who will support the program. Please, as a member of NCDTSEA, get involved and let's get our program on solid funding ground. This is not a Repiblican or Democrat issue. It is an issue of the survival of a crucial program for all of North Carolina.
Your NCDTSEA President
Sam Deyton, Jr.
Graduated Driver License (GDL) What is Graduated Licences?
"All states and the District of Columbia have a 3-stage GDL system, states the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration- NHTSA. Leaders in the national teen driver education area have developed standards for the states to implement. Additionally, studies indicate a substantial decrease in crashes for the 16 – 19-year old age group of almost 40% to 47%. The GDL process allows a teen driver more and more driving priviledge/freedom as they demonstrate more amd more responsibility/maturity.
Do I need to complete an approved driver education course to get my learner’s permit??
In most cases, the answer to this question is YES! Because of Graduated Driver Licensing, most all states required some type of additional training. Check with your state to find an approved school.
Do I get an insurance discount for completing an Online driver education Program?
We find that many insurance companies do not recognize online driver education or training initially but several in recent years are beginning to accept this education for discounts. Insurance companies base their premiums on statistics. As these statistics begin to tell a story, we project online programs will gain in recognition and popularity to aid states in the requirement of driver education and tremendously help to decrease teen crashes
What is the age limit to start drivers education?
Drivers under the age of 18 are usually required to complete some type of driver education or training course. The age at which this is required varies due to the age limits set by the individual state. Normally this is dictated by the minimum age at which the state allows for permits or licenses. In North Carolina, a teen becomes eligible to take a Driver Education course at 14 years 6 months through age 18.
Is Driver Education in North Carolina important to you?
Does a course in Driver Education and Traffic Safety have any value for you, your child or your grandchild?
The North Carolina General Assembly in it's budget bill last year eliminated all state funding for Driver Education beginning July 1, 2015. If you would like to see funding restored for this valuable program, please call or e-mail Governor McCory's office and ask for the program to continue. Please identify your NC House and/or Senate Representatives and give them a call or send them an e-mail and ask them to restore funding for this valuable program. Driver Education is an inseperable component of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL). The GDL process has proven to reduce teen crashes 40% - 47% since it inception. To delete Driver Education from this process would effectively dismantle the GDL program, thereby causing the teenage crash and death rate to climb. For more detailed information and for a link to your government representative's name and contact information, please visit the following website. www.drivereducationmatters.com