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Business asking lawmakers to pump the breaks on parent-taught Driver's Ed classes

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GONZALES - It may be a new way for parents to save money when teaching their teenagers to drive. A legislative proposal would allow for parent-taught driver's education courses, rather than paying for hundreds at a training school.

A parent would receive a packet from the Department of Public Safety Corrections. They'd be required to have their child be behind the wheel for a minimum of 8 hours and in the ‘classroom’ for thirty hours. Still, some fear the legislation could speed up the dangers of the road.

“How much is your kid worth?” countered Jerry Summers, who represents Breaux’s Driving School in Gonzales. “Louisiana is ranked third in teen death. There’s a possibility of that growing because parents are teaching the program.”

Breaux’s Driving School sees 30 students walk through their door every month. They believe there’s value in the teens sitting in their desks, that some parents may not be able to relay.

“They like being around other kids when they're learning,” said Summers. “We've had parents take a test, the same test kids do, and they can't pass it.”

According to the bill, before parents could teach their teen how to drive they would have to receive course requirements, and be approved by the Department of Public Safety Corrections. Their driving record has to be fairly clean, meaning no license suspensions for driving under the influence in the past five years, and fewer than two safety belt violations, to name a few.

The bill author did not get back to WBRZ for comment. The proposal will be taken up in the House Transportation, Highways and Public Works committee meeting as soon as next week.

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