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By Teresa Bigham /The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYD COUNTY – Almost all teens dream of opening the door to find a vehicle parked out front with a big bow tied around it. They dream about driving off to pick up friends.
However, much more goes into earning a driver’s license than just getting a car or even passing the exam and driving test.
When a parent and teen are ready to start the process of getting a learner’s permit, the student will be required to take a parent taught driver’s class. With so many to choose from, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recommends reading up on what each program offers.
According to the DMV, the classes are on-line programs like drivers ed courses. In addition to the rules of the road and traffic laws, some of the lessons will include how to:
• Inspect vehicle before getting in the car, such as checking for flats.
• Prepare for driving before starting the car, such as adjusting the mirrors, adjusting seat and fastening seat belt.
• Enter and exit rural roads, streets and fast-paced highways.
• Read road signs and traffic lights.
• Parallel park.
• Handle emergency situations such as flat tires, traffic accidents and running out of gas.
Obtaining a driver license is a more in-depth process than it used to be. The days of studying for and obtaining a learner’s permit only to turn around and take the exam for a driver’s license are obsolete.
In the late 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration developed a program known as graduated driver licensing. Today most states use some form of GDL in their drivers licensing program according to the DMV.
GDL imposes certain time requirements on each permit, which means a driver must have a learner’s permit for a certain amount of time before one can apply for the intermediate permit.
The DMV also reports that along with time requirements, the graduated driver licensing program also enforces age requirements as well as educational and training requirements that must be met before a teen can complete each phase of the program in order to move to the next phase.
The DMV has some tips that parents and teens are encouraged to go over to become a safe and responsible driver.
• Pay attention to safety belt laws. Make sure teens always wears them.
• Inspect the vehicle before getting into the car, adjust the seat and mirrors and always check the gas gauge.
• Follow the rules of the road. This means follow speed limits, traffic lights and signs and signaling when one plans to turn. Never drink and drive and or ride with someone who has been drinking.
• Pay attention to others on the road. This includes vehicles behind, beside and in front of a vehicle. Watch for bicycles and motorcycles as well as pedestrians.
• Pay attention to the weather and road conditions.
• Keep the vehicle up to date with regular maintenance.
Driving is a privilege, and like any privilege it can be taken away if abused.