Let Michigan authorize online Driver's Education courses available permanently
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During this time of lockdown due to Covid-19, a lot of opportunities have been taken away for people in Michigan. One opportunity that can be provided is the authorization of online Driver's Education courses in the process of getting a permit/license. Currently, most in-seat driving schools are still in session, and have moved online (for the sake of the continuation of the session that was started before and those that had people signed up already before lockdown), but they have closed off future sign-ups. Because of this, anyone that was planning to sign up in this window of time (April/May/June) will have this option taken away from them, as there is no choice to sign up anymore. The next time in-seat classes will be available is after quarantine. However, if one was planning to take it in this window (April/May/June) because they did not have time to take it in the near future after that, they would have to wait a while before finding another window of opportunity to take a Driver's Education course and get their permit/license.
I understand that this addresses a lot of concern regarding the safety of our roads in the future. First of all, 4 out of 8 of the states with the lowest deaths per 100,000 population rates in 2018 (including the #1 lowest) either authorize online Driver's Ed or don't even require Driver's Ed. Second, most of the concern is surrounded on students of the courses not being able to get behind-the-wheel training with a teacher. Segment 1 of Driver's Ed consists of a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction, a minimum of 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, and a minimum of 4 hours of observation time in a training vehicle. With this petition, I am just trying to make online Driver's Ed courses be valid in the process of gaining your permit/license, not the entire process. This means that it is not targeting all of segment 1 & 2, but just the areas of "Classroom instruction", which is 24/34 required hours in segment 1 and 6/6 required hours in segment 2. Since classroom instruction is just learning about rules and tips for when on the road, this can easily be transitioned online. I do suggest to keep the rules of minimum of 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction and a minimum of 4 hours of observation time in a training vehicle required so that students do get guidance when actually getting behind-the-wheel, but have this as a separate course within in-seat Driver's Ed courses. Essentially, this is just splitting segment 1 up into two portions, one being the classroom instruction portion and the other being the behind-the-wheel portion with a trainer. This will just make taking online courses for segment 1 with classroom instruction and segment 2 (all of it because it only consists of classroom instruction) an option for those who prefer or need it. The minimum of 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction and a minimum of 4 hours of observation time in a training vehicle will still be required, so that we can ensure the people on the roads in Michigan will have still obtained training with instructors behind-the-wheel! As our entire country is in lockdown and schools have transitioned to online platforms, we have proven that it works and that online education is just as valid as in-seat. So in the future, why can't this be normalized and authorized for Driver's Education courses in Michigan (for the hours of classroom instruction)?
There are many states that allow online Driver’s Education courses as part of the process for obtaining a Driver’s License, but Michigan is not yet on this list. Please sign this petition and share it to others so we can make an impact in trying to create more opportunities for Michiganders in the process of obtaining a license during this time of quarantine, as well as more opportunities for Michiganders in the future who just cannot find time to take in-seat Driver's Education courses and would prefer online Driver's Education courses to at least be an option. Thank you!
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