Should the school sponsor driver’s education classes?: In-school courses would yield safer and more convenient student driving

Lauren Seltzer, Staff Writer

A good portion of the upperclassmen in the school take driver’s ed.  Some argue that it would be much more efficient for driver’s ed to take place during school hours and be included in the school budget, making it more accessible to students.

Students who take the course out of school, or even not at all, would be able to give themselves more time in the day if driver’s ed was offered during a class period.

“I’m really busy after school, and during the semester that I took driver’s ed I had to take hours out of my weekend to take the course.  It added a lot of stress, especially around the end of the year during finals and regents, since I had even less time than normal.  I think that if I had been able to have driver’s ed in my schedule instead of taking it outside of school, it would have reduced a lot of stress for me last year,” said junior Sally Fried.

A lot of Schreiber students have tons of extracurriculars on their plate, including teams, clubs, and after school activities.  Adding all of that to the amount of homework and school-related stress put on upperclassmen, driver’s ed seems like a stress and time consumer that could be easily avoided.

Almost two hours after school twice a week, is something that many upperclassmen can’t afford to lose.  There is so much stress regarding college, grades, and piling on as many extracurriculars as possible that the desire to fulfill driving requirements seems less and less prominent when it means less free hours in the day.

“I’m taking driver’s ed now through the school, which means that for two days a week I have to stay until 4:45.  The extra hour and a half means that I have to rush to get home so that I can get my work done in time for my dance classes, and I’m still up late at night most days.  I would be willing to sacrifice a few off periods if it meant that I could have a few more minutes to sleep,” said junior Natalie Burke.

It is a requirement for the road test that the student has completed a driver’s ed course and a certain amount of hours of driving outside of school.  With many students not able to take driver’s ed (whether it is because of timing, costly, or other reasons), many will have to delay taking their road test.  It is an option to take a full day course in place of the semester long weekly sessions, but that still delays the possibility of a license past the age of 17.

The hours on the road with an instructor are very helpful to new drivers, but not everybody gets the instruction they want or need because so many people are not able to take the course.  Cars and lecture sessions fill up quickly when sign ups open, so there is a possibility of not getting the time slot you desire.

This forces students to choose times for driver’s ed that are inconvenient for them, sometimes even causing them to have to give up on prior commitments.

“I enjoyed my driver’s ed experience.  I think it was really helpful and prepared me well for my road test.  I know, though, that there are a lot of students in the school that won’t get the opportunity to take the course either because they don’t have the time or because of the cost, and I think that to give every student a fair option of taking the course, it should be offered during school.  That way, everyone would get the opportunity to learn and prepare for their road test and for their life as a driver,” said junior Natalie Pacht.

Offering driver’s ed during the school day would not only increase the number of Schreiber students that are able to take the course, but it would increase the knowledge of new drivers on the road.  With more students able to receive the help and instruction they need to prepare for driving alone, the roads of Port Washington will be safer for everyone.