There could soon be changes to how one acquires a driver’s license after graduating from high school. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says there is concern that those getting behind the wheel for the first time at age 18 could be a hazard on the road. Instead of going through the traditional means of taking a driver education course in high school, some are waiting until they turn 18. That’s the age at which a person can walk into a secretary of state DMV office, take the written test and driving exam and walk out with a license.
State Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago), who sits on White’s Advisory Committee on Traffic Safety, says it’s a growing trend. “The graduated driver’s license that we put in place a few years ago has been tremendous,” D’Amico said. “I think it’s one of the most important pieces of legislation that we have passed because it saved teenage lives. But as time goes on we realized that some teenagers are not going to driver’s education courses and waiting until they turn 18 to go and get their driver’s license. So there’s no instruction, there’s nothing for them to follow when they go in there and take the test. They wind up getting their driver’s license and quite frankly they have no experience driving a car.”
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D’Amico and White have asked the committee to study the issue and offer suggestions. D’Amico believes mandating some online classes would be a good start.