Panel meets to standardize state driver's ed curriculum

Posted August 10, 2011 6:40 p.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2011 7:14 p.m. EDT

Student driver, driver's education class

— A new state law will streamline all driver's education programs under one system, and some might be able to take the class online.

"We are looking at ways to improve the driver's education program, with our ultimate goal in reducing the number of crashes," said J.D. Everett, a driver's education consultant for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

Everett is a member of the newly formed Driver's Education Advisory Committee, a panel of education, transportation and highway safety experts who are helping steer the changes.

It met for the first time Wednesday.

"We just want to make sure that, in the core curriculum, that the subjects that need to be addressed are being addressed," Everett said.

Lawmakers cut $8 million in funding for driver's education in the new state budget but provided a provision that will allow school systems to charge students up to $45 to take the course.

The committee will examine the cost. It is also looking at a pilot program in five schools that would allow students to take the classroom portion of the driving curriculum online.

To get a learner's permit, students under age 18 will still be required to spend six hours behind the wheel with an instructor.