Commentary

Disaster averted on driver’s education?

A Sunday editorial in the Fayetteville Observer expressed the fervent hope that this is so:

Our View: Driver education gets a last-minute reprieve

Late last week, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said they’ve reached agreements on some state budget sticking points, including the funding of high school driver education.

Thank you, gentlemen. We feel a little safer already. The Senate’s plan to ditch driver ed was not one of that body’s brighter moments. We’ve got enough problems with wretched drivers as it is. Taking away basic training was a scary thought.

The Senate had reasoned that it could save a lot of money by turning over the on-the-road portion of training to parents or other qualified adults, and raise the passing score on written tests, thus making young drivers-to-be study harder.

That’s a hopelessly optimistic conclusion. The reality is that parents or other mentors would pass along their own bad-driving habits to the kids, after the fledgling drivers did some last-minute cramming to pass the written test.

The bottom line would be more carnage on our highways.

Because of budget uncertainty, Cumberland County schools had already cut driver ed for the year. But the system can bring it back, perhaps within four weeks, officials say.

Disaster, we hope, averted.

Now, if lawmakers would only gets serious in regard to averting about a dozen more.

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