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‘We need to make it mandatory’: DPS commissioner wants to see drivers ed required for Mississippi teens

Teen driver safety
Photo courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

With data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showing that Mississippi is one of the nation’s leaders in teen-driving fatalities, one public official is looking to require teenagers to pass a driver’s education course prior to receiving a driver’s license.

In a recent interview on The Gallo Show, Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell expressed a necessity to promote driver’s education courses in Mississippi schools while also having law enforcement officers speak to students about traffic safety.

“We’re going to start trying to make a big push on driver’s education and getting back into the classrooms with Highway Patrol in schools talking about distracted driving and impaired driving,” Tindell said.

Not only would Tindell like to see driver’s education courses encouraged and promoted within school systems that have them, but he would also like to see every educational entity in Mississippi host a student driving program. Additionally, he thinks it ought to be mandatory for a student to pass the course before obtaining a driver’s license.

“We’ve got to make a really big emphasis on driver’s education,” Tindell continued. “A lot of schools do not have driver’s ed courses, and so we’ve got to get that back into the classroom. We really need to make it mandatory that you take a driver’s ed course.”

Though the state’s legislative session has wrapped up for the year, the public safety commissioner plans to work with lawmakers on passing bills to advance teen-driving safety in Mississippi. There are currently 37 states where driver’s education classes are mandatory for certain age groups.

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