COLUMBUS, Ga. – High school students in Georgia will be able to apply directly to for driver’s education opportunities due to a new grant scholarship program created by the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission.
Georgia residents between 15 and 17-years-old actively enrolled in school possessing a valid driving permit are eligible for the student driver’s scholarship program. Students who enroll in the program will have at least 30 hours of classroom training and six hours of training behind the wheel. They will also have 40 hours of supervised driving with their parent or guardian.
Boyd Bickerstaff turned 16 two months ago. She took drivers ed from Barber’s Driving School.
“I took the classes during the summer for a week everyday from eight to five and then I drove with the Barber’s people for three days, three hours each and got to experience driving with them,” she said.
Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Harris Blackwood says they’re trying make sure young drivers are prepared before they get on the road.
“We want them to have the experience of driving in bad weather, in interstate traffic, in different kinds of road conditions where they might anticipate the kinds of things that can happen when you’re behind the wheel of a car. When we do that, we’ll make it safer for everybody,” Blackwood said.
Bickerstaff says it’s particularly important for young drivers like herself to pay attention on the road.
“I know that I get distracted by many things like the radio or my cell phone and sometimes I swerve off. It’s not really good to lose track,” she said.
The Georgia Driver’s Grant Scholarship Program will help instill the dangers of distracted driving young drivers. Blackwood says the new program will be funded by a 1.8 percent surcharge on traffic tickets.
The grant scholarship will be given in the form of a voucher that students will be able to redeem from a list of authorized providers. Students have 30 days to redeem the voucher once notified of the award. They have 180 days to complete the course from the award date. The grant scholarships will be evenly distributed among Georgia’s congressional districts.