Local lawmaker would add more hours for would-be drivers
by Tim Lockette
tlockette@annistonstar.com
Jan 21, 2014 | 2476 views |  0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep. Randy Wood, R-Saks, has introduced a bill in the Alabama House of Representatives that would increase the number of hours a young driver needs behind the wheel before getting a license.

Current law requires a student driver to get 30 hours of driving time, under the supervision of a parent or guardian before taking the driving test. Wood's bill would increase that requirement to 50 hours.

Wood said he filed the bill last year because passing it would have allowed the state to qualify for $3 million in federal transportation money. The bill failed to pass and the money is no longer available, but Wood said he's still pursuing the matter because the 50-hour requirement could save lives on the road.

The driving-hours requirement works on the honor system. Parents fill out a form verifying that they've done the driving hours with their kids.

"They could fake it," he said. "I don't think most of them will. This is about their kids' safety."

Woods' bill would also add grandparents to the list of people who can sign off on the required hours of driving. Current law allows only parents, guardians or driving instructors to do so.

Wood filed his bill Tuesday. It's not clear when it will come up in committee or in the full House.

Capitol & statewide correspondent Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.

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