COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus has been ranked by an insurance company as a city having the worst drivers actually coming in at number 7 in the country.
According to quotewizard.com this is based on accidents, traffic citations, DUIs and speeding tickets. Some may agree and some may disagree with that, but one thing is final starting Saturday: Adults who go to get their Ohio issued driver’s license and fail will now have to take an abbreviated driver training course before retaking the test again.
Before this new law was put into place, any adult 18 and over who failed their driver’s test could go back and retake it with no restrictions. Lawmakers think this will make roadways here in Ohio much more safe.
Officials say a lot of people actually wait until they are 18 or older to get their license just so they don’t have to take classes. Starting Saturday, if those drivers fail, they’re going to have to start studying.
“It’s changing because we’re trying to do everything we can to make Ohio safer,” says Karhlton Moore, Executive Director of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice.
“What we’ve noticed over the years is more and more people are delaying getting their license until they’re over the age of 18, and once your’re 18 you’re no longer needed to take driver’s education, which means we have more drivers on our roads who haven’t been educated in driving safely. And so, really, the purpose of this is to educate more drivers so they understand the enormous responsibility that comes with driving a car.”
This whole change in regulation has been two years in the making. Moore says around 86,000 Ohio drivers fail their driving exam a year.
“If you’re over 18 and fail it you have to take an abbreviated course,” Moore said. “The course is 4 hours of classroom instruction or you can take it online. In addition to taking the course, you also have to do some time behind the wheel, so if you decide to take it with a license instructor, that’s 4 hours of behind the wheel time or you can do the driving with an adult over the age of 21 and that requires 24 hours of driving and an affidavit stating you completed 24 hours of driving.”
Carl Vesco is the Owner and President of Columbus Driving Academy. He has been teaching drivers educations since the 70s and thinks this law should have been in place years ago.
“For years, people should have to take driver’s ed,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how old they are. They should take driver’s ed. You can be self-taught but do you know the rules and regulations that goes on and applies to driving? Most people don’t.
Jace Nguyen is 17 years old and passed his driving test on Friday after taking the normal 24 hours of required driver’s ed classes. He thinks everyone should have to take the same amount of time for classes prior to getting a license.
Nguyen, “I think it’s kind of unfair to our youth, our younger kids because I think there are kids that are 16 that are more qualified to drive than those that are 18 and driving.”
Alee Sribanditmongkol is the mother of a teen driver and feels safer allowing her son to driver now that driver’s licenses are changing.
“I do believe its beneficial because in practicing with my son who just got his license I think the classes really prepare you to know the laws and to have the experience and chances are you’re going to do better passing the test having taken those classes. It does put everybody in a safer place driving just knowing that everyone that’s 18 and older or even if you’re 30 and getting your license you have the same awareness of the laws and the street safety protects all of us so I think that’s a really great idea”, Sribanditmongkol.
“My hope is it makes our roads safer,” Moore said. “We lose too many people every year to car crashes. We lost about 1,000 Ohioans a year and we’d like to see that number come down.”
The new law goes into effect Saturday, July 1, 2017.