Driving On Your Desktop
Representative Judy Baker (D-Columbia) wants to make sure when young drivers return in the fall they know what they're doing behind the wheel.
In 2005, 244 teen drivers died on the Missouri roads; the state ranked fifth nationally in teen driving deaths.
Baker is introducing a bill during next year's legislative session that would put driver's education online.
"Our kids learn a lot of things through video games and simulation and so on and, so, hopefully this course will take some of those learning experiences and make them available to kids to learn how to drive a car," she said.
Driving instructor Drew Scheneman says an online course isn't as good as actual driving experience.
"You might learn some road signs and stuff like that, but in terms of all right teaching, you... all right, you can tell me all day the dangers of driving, but I'm going to have to see it--that's just the way they think," he said.
Rep. Baker says 40 hours behind the wheel will still be required for a license, but the online course can provide even more education.
"It's going to be a very extensive program," she said. "It's going to be a nine-week program upwards of 40 hours of instruction and exercises and testing. There will also be interaction with instructors."
The program is still in the planning stages, but would be available to students in the summer of 2008 if the bill passes. The program would not make driver's ed. mandatory for Missouri teens, but would allow school districts to use the program.