Parents to take driving course with teens before lessons

Some parents and lawmakers disagree with the idea

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Rhode Island is considering following our state’s lead in mandating parents to take driver’s education courses with teens. 22News looked more closely at how this proposal works.

Massachusetts and Connecticut have required these classes for about a decade. Rhode Island lawmakers think they’re worth it. It would mandate a free course for parents of drivers under 18-years-old, and teach them how to supervise driving lessons with their teens.

Parents with multiple children wouldn’t have to take the class more than once in a 5-year period and the proposal offers the option of taking the class online. One parent told 22News while the intention is good, the course wasn’t effective in her experience.

“I thought it was a waste of time. It was 2 hours of my morning on a Saturday and I just got the impression that the other parents felt the same way,” Carol McKeogh said.

Rhode Island lawmakers who oppose the bill cite these same reasons, saying a manual may be more effective. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday and it’s now moving on to the Senate.