Bill Description: House Bill 639 would qualify parents and legal guardians to provide Class D driver’s education to their children.
Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market?
Currently, drivers under the age of 17 must take an approved driver education course to be eligible to test for a Class D license (commonly used for people driving a passenger car or truck). Driver education courses are only the first step to licensure under the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program. Additionally, a student must also complete at least 50 hours of driving under the supervision of a licensed driver who is over 21 years of age. Only after completing both an approved driver education course and the additional 50 hours of supervised driving can someone under the age of 17 test for a Class D license.
HB 639 removes unnecessary red tape by recognizing parents and qualified driver education trainers as instructors. Essentially, this allows for qualified students to receive instruction in the same manner as supervised driving under GDL. However, there is an increase in the number of driving hours from 50 to 92 and parents must submit a log to the county licensing office, documenting instructional time. This ensures accountability and adequate driving experience before a student will test for a Class D license.
This bill expands the free market, by reducing dependence on approved driver education courses and grants more educational flexibility to parents and legal guardians. This policy is especially beneficial to rural Idahoans who live in areas where driver education programs are more limited.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments?
Because standard driver education courses use public facilities, there is a $15.00 fee assessed for each enrollee. HB 639 offers a more cost-effective alternative by requiring participants in parent-student driver training to pay $10.00 instead. Though this a small change, it offers a more economical option for parents and students.
Regarding the issue of government spending, this bill will incur a $96,000 expense to the General Fund to establish the program. This bill does not generate any new full-time positions or implement any new ongoing expenses. Therefore, this is only an incidental government expenditure that will not lead to long-term costs to taxpayers.
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