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Rhode Island House to vote on potential new driver ed program

The Rhode Island House of Representatives is set to vote on a new driver's education program that would require the parents of teenagers to take the course. The parents would be required to take the course prior to their teens hitting the roads of the state.

The course would be free of charge and offered both online or at the Community College of Rhode Island. Lawmakers hope the class would help parents become more involved in their teenager's driving habits and education.

The bill was introduced by the Democratic House Majority Leader after it was presented to him by AAA. There is a similar program running in the state of Massachusetts that has cut teen (under 18) accidents by 50 percent, according to AAA researchers.

"When you are 16 getting a car, a license is the best thing in the world. You have so much freedom," the Democratic House Majority Leader said. "But with that freedom comes responsibility to yourself and other people."

Under the law, parents, guardians and designees would be required to take the class in order to refresh themselves on distracted driving laws and restrictions for new drivers in Rhode Island. Parents who have multiple children would only have to take the class once every five years.

The current law requires young drivers to enroll in 33 hours of traffic safety education at the Community College of Rhode Island. The course is free and no one under 15 years and 10 months of age can take it. The new law would require the parent or guardian to take a similar course, which would take anywhere between three and five hours to complete, before their teen could legally hit the road.

If instances occur where there is no parent or guardian to take the course, arrangements will be made where a guidance counselor might take the class and speak with the teen about the content.

An experienced personal injury attorney in Providence, Rhode Island, can answer all of your questions surrounding car accidents and how to protect yourself as a victim.

Source: Providence Journal, "R.I. House set to vote on requiring driver’s ed for parents of teenagers," Jacqueline Tempera, May 17, 2017

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