Joshua’s Law is impacting teenage drivers all over the state of Georgia.
At Early County High School, the driver's education courses are already jam packed for the semester.
Joshua's Law went into affect on January 1st, 2007 and it's taking requirements for teen drivers to a whole new level.
Under the new state law, 16-year-olds cannot get a license until they take 30 hours of classroom instruction developed or approved by the Department of Driver Services.
They must also complete 40 hours of supervised driving. Six of those hours must be at night, with a parent or guardian's sworn verification.
In addition to the driving prerequisites, teens must have zero unexcused absences from class.
There's close to 800 students at Early County High School, and administrators say there's simply not enough space to accommodate all the students that need to take the required driving course.
Michael Allred has been teaching Driver's Ed for five years and says since the new law went into effect, requests for the course are pouring in. "The demand in the last couple of weeks has been real big. People are calling. Both classes I teach are full and we can't take anymore. But they want to get them in this semester and it's just not possible," he says.
The new law may be tough, but school officials hope it will prevent a teenager from becoming another tragedy.
Now that the driver's course is required by law, in order to accommodate all the requests from students and parents, Early County School officials say they're looking at some alternatives such as summer driver's ed and maybe even offering virtual courses.
Parents and teenagers can get more information about the new driving laws at their local DMV or visit www.gateendrivereducation.com.
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