Missouri lawmaker proposes bill requiring new drivers to complete a driver’s education program

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:35 PM CST
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri lawmakers have started to file hundreds of bills for the next legislative session.

One of those proposed bills, House Bill 1516, seeks to better prepare young drivers before they take the wheel.

The bill would require new drivers 18-years-old and younger to complete a driver’s education program approved by the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

Roy Green has been instructing new drivers in Springfield for quite a while.

“I’ve been doing driver’s education I think 51 years,” Green said. “Started in 1971 and it’s 2021, so that adds up to about 50 years.”

He taught young drivers at Springfield Public Schools for 45 years but eventually took on his own business after that program ended about six years ago. He has a strong passion to teach lifetime driving skills.

“I love what I do,” Green said. “And I love when I meet a former student that I had 10 years ago and they still recognize me and say, ‘you know I’ve been driving for 10 years and I haven’t had a ticket or a wreck.’ And that’s what we love to hear.”

Green said he feels all new drivers can benefit from driver’s education programs.

”You become a better driver and a safer driver,” he said.

The longtime driving instructor said some good could certainly come from that upcoming bill.

”There are just a number of subjects you can teach on, not only on how to drive a car but how to deal with road rage, how to drive defensively, and how to adjust to different situations,” Green said. “So there’s a lot of benefits.”

KY3 rode along with Green on Thursday to discuss some of the benefits of those programs and some challenges new drivers often face.

“New drivers have to start out being able to make good turns,” Green described. “One of the more difficult things about learning to drive is making good turns.”

Green said the bill could help the future generation of drivers, but he said there is a challenge lawmakers need to keep in mind.

”I think it’s an excellent requirement,” he said. “But it might be the manpower to do it and the logistics of getting it in the schools and requiring it and making it all work. But it would certainly be very worthwhile.”

The bill was just filed on Wednesday, and right now it is waiting for a hearing date.

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