Bill Would Make S. C. Roads Safer By Requiring Driver's Ed - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Bill Would Make S. C. Roads Safer By Requiring Driver's Ed

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BEAUFORT, S.C. -

A bill pre-filed in the Senate could require all South Carolinians complete a driver training course in order to obtain a driver's license. Driver trainers believe the goal is to make roads safer.

When Tommy Collins takes a spin around Beaufort, he says he is shocked by the poor way people drive.

For thirty years, Collins patrolled the roads as a State Trooper, but now he aims to make roads safer from the passenger seat of his driver's education vehicle.

"Hopefully what will happen is we will see less wrecks, less fatalities, and less damage to vehicles," he says.

Under South Carolina law, anyone under 17 must take a course like Collins's at First Step Driver Training. However, bill S. 849 could change that age to 21, and add that all first time license holders over 21 at least take a defensive driving class.

"I'm just wondering why it took so long," Collins says. "Thirty years ago to the day, it was about the same amount of people getting killed each year in traffic accidents."

Add to that the findings of a recent study, which ranked South Carolina second in the nation for worst driving, and Collins hopes the bill passes.

Collins says the starting price of a course like his hits around $300. However, he believes that price will actually save money on funeral costs and medical bills in the long run.

"The cost will offset itself in time," he says. "Do you want your family members driving out there with people who don't know how to drive?"

Lawmakers return for session at the statehouse tomorrow, where they will decide if the classes become mandatory.      

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