HB 504 — Online Drivers Ed Hearing

NH Legislative Office Building (LOB)
NH Legislative Office Building (LOB)

When:   Tuesday, May 3rd at 1:45pm

Where:   Legislative Office Building

(behind the State House)

at 33 N. State Street in Concord, in room 103


Please come out to support HB 504, a bill that would allow the classroom portion of drivers education to be fulfilled by an online course that is approved by the NH Department of Safety.

In public schools we recognize differentiated learning. It is reasonable that some students would learn better without the disruptions and distractions inherent in a classroom setting. Other students are very busy with school and work commitments that makes it difficult to attend classes at specific times. Online drivers education offers far greater flexibility and allows for students to find a better fit for learning.

Online options would also help make drivers education more affordable and readily available for students in remote areas. This would likely increase the number of young adults receiving formal instruction before seeking their drivers license instead of simply waiting until they turn 18 years old.

Opponents argue that it will cost jobs and that drivers ed teachers need the classroom to build rapport with students that carries over to the hands-on driving portion.

Doesn’t this sound similar to the fears teachers raise whenever alternative learning methods are considered? These are the same arguments we’ve faced for homeschooling, charter schools, and online education for other programs.

HB 504 would allow an online program to replace the in-class portion required for those under 18 years old seeking a drivers license. It does not remove the hands-on driving instruction and supervised time with parents. All drivers license applicants are still required to pass the written and driving test at the DMV.

When the bill went through the House, only teachers were present and testified against the bill. We also had to overturn an Inexpedient to Legislate recommendation on the House floor to prevent the bill from being killed. We need a big effort if we’re going to get this through.

Please join us at the Senate Transportation Committee’s public hearing on Tuesday, May 3rd at 1:45pm in LOB 103. If you can’t attend, please email the committee — they need to hear from the people who would benefit from this legislation.
Nancy Stiles — District 24, Hampton

Regina Birdsell — District 19, Hampstead/Windham/Derry

David Watters — District 4, Dover

Dan Feltes — District 15, Concord

Gary Daniels — District 11, Milford

Getting to Concord
driving directions to the State House (gold dome)
area parking