ROAD HAZARD! Georgia Allows Teens to Avoid Taking Road Tests Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Safety advocates in the Peach State have raised concerns about its decision to let teens obtain a driver’s license without having to pass road tests due to the coronavirus and the impossibility to safely conduct the test.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that some parents raised the concern about the road test to Gov. Brian Kemp’s office. They claimed that their children had completed other standard requirements and even driver’s education, but now they were essentially stuck.
The report said that other states have implemented similar guidelines. Kemp reportedly waived the road test last month and 20,000 of the 30,000 teens who are eligible have received licenses.
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The paper explained why some in the state are concerned about the move. Statistics show that about 80 percent of those who take the test pass, but that means about 20 percent fail, so there could be thousands behind the wheel that would have bombed the road test.
Rebecca Weast, a researcher at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, told the paper that her “gut reaction” to the state’s move was: “Oh my God, why?”
“It’s just such a standard part of becoming a driver that removing it seems kind of odd,” she said.
Willa Pevey, a 17-year-old from Tucker, Ga., told CNN that she was relieved that she did not have to take the test because she was “nervous” about parallel parking.
“So I was happy that I didn’t have to do it,” she said.
Sarah Casto, a driving instructor in Georgia, told the network that she started an online petition in an attempt to urge Kemp to reverse his office’s decision.
“Everyone’s response is always that parents should be responsible for their kids, but we can’t assume that everyone has responsible parents. That is a dangerous idea,” she said.
Jimmy Taylor, who owns Taylor Insurance Agency in the state, told WFXL.com that doing away with road tests could end up being a good thing.
“I do not think that test is a good measure or the measure to how that driver’s gonna be,” he said. “Because certainly, we’ve seen people that in the past have gone through that procedure, and we still have the same amount of accidents, or exposure that you would have from a young driver.”