Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Don't let one problem color judgment of driver's education courses
By the Advocate Editorial Board
Jan. 20, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Updated Jan. 19, 2014 at 7:20 p.m.
Driving a car is a privilege many people take for granted. Earning a license requires hours of training, supervised practice behind the wheel and more. All of this must be logged and submitted to the Texas Department of Public Safety with the proper forms before a driver is able to receive his or her license.
Many young people pay to go to driver's education classes to receive the training needed to earn a driver's license. Unfortunately, one of the schools in Victoria offered by Victoria Educational Associates had a problem with paperwork that resulted in about 300 students being denied their permits.
Thankfully, this incident, while inconvenient, boiled down to a misunderstanding associated with procedures and a change in leadership at the DPS office that resulted in a change in policies. The problem was corrected, and we have received emails from parents applauding the school's responsible handling of the situation. We are glad the problem was resolved, and the school will continue to offer classes aimed at helping young people become safe drivers. Before this incident, the school offered the class for 12 years with about 5,000 students receiving their licenses, Johnny Sciacca, owner and director of the school, said in a previous article.
We encourage parents and young people to not let this one incident color their judgement when it come to driver's education courses. Driving a car is a huge responsibility that should never be taken lightly. These courses offer students hours of instruction focused on responsible driving methods, awareness and caution behind the wheel. That is a lesson all drivers, particularly those who are young and inexperienced, should take to heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens between the ages of 16 and 19. That is a frightening fact that needs to change, and good driver's education courses can help prepare young drivers for what they will face while on the road and how to behave safely for both themselves and others.
Parents of teenagers who are preparing to earn a learner's permit or driver's license should enroll their children in a reputable driver's education program. That way, teenagers can receive important training that could save their lives one day. We encourage all future drivers to take advantage of the skills and knowledge offered in these courses before obtaining a license.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.