On the road: the trials and tribulations of drivers education
Drivers education is a rite of passage. Since driver’s education is such an important event in a teenager’s life, many students at TMHS are opting to get theirs sooner, rather than later.
To begin the process, students have to be enrolled in some kind of driver’s education—be it online, in a class, or with their parents. A driver’s education class typically lasts three weeks, but if you pass a vision test and a two-part written test with at least a 70, you can go to the DPS to receive your permit.
After you have your permit, so long as you have an adult with a license in the car with you, you’re free to begin your pursuit of a driver’s license. There are lots of hoops to jump through: for instance, it’s required to have 20 hours of drive-time, and that’s outside of the school. You also need 7 hours of drive-time at a driving school, as well as 7 hours of observation—getting in the backseat of the drivers’ ed car to watch someone else try their hand at driving.
If a student does not want to go to a “driver’s ed class,” they can study with their parents or take a class online. “Taking drivers ed online is so much easier,” said Ruiz. “All I had to do was walk in and get my permit.”
Many sophomores at TMHS have already gotten their permits, and will be driving their junior year, or even sooner. A few sophomores are driving already, but most are just beginning their drivers ed pilgrimage.
“I get my license April 9,” said Morgan. “I’m really excited.”
Whether a student takes the class or has their parents teach them or takes the online course is up to the student and their parent’s discretion. All three have perks; all roads lead to the same destination, and which one is ‘better’ depends on the student’s personal learning style.
“I recommend the driving school at Sears,” said Nick Neinberg, sophomore. “The instructor is hilarious and the class is actually fun.”
Regardless of how they get there, almost everyone who is on the way to getting their license agrees on one thing.
“Driving means freedom,” said Melanie Morgan. “And I want freedom.”
Perhaps some are nostalgic for the days when drivers education was a required class—however, since the mortality rates of teenage drivers have decreased since its out-of-class institution, it’s considerably safer to learn how to drive now than it has been in the past.