Getting The Amateurs Off The Road (12/12/06)

How many times have you witnessed something on the road that made you wonder, "Who taught that idiot how to drive?"

Well, up until recently, the answer could have been "Just about anyone." Because Kentucky had no requirement for professional driving instruction. New drivers could be taught by their parents...or the 17 year old next door...or no one at all, for that matter. They just had to learn enough to pass a pretty simple ten-minute road test.

The result of that informal training has been devastating. Kentucky has more highway fatalities than all but four states. I think it is unconscionable to send people out onto the roads in 4,000 pound lethal weapons and not demand they be properly trained to drive them.

This had me ready to do an editorial suggesting more stringent standards. But during my research, I was pleasantly surprised to learn the legislature has already come through.

As of April 1 next year, all Kentucky license applicants under 18 will be required to take a professional training course -- offered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, a high school, or a private, accredited driver school.

This could be the single most effective improvement in the state's driving conditions since the invention of asphalt!

Of course, no amount of instruction will cure some people. But I thought this new policy should be noted and commended.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.