Teen freedom often pricey

Other Staff

Driving down Highway 99 for the first time, Victor Cabias, ’05, was nervous as he worried that he might be going too fast. As Cabias saw a police car approaching, he started to sweat and wonder if he was obeying the driving laws. The last thing he needed was a ticket just after acquiring his permit.

Driving can be an incredible rush for those who have never been on the rode before. Most 15-year-olds wait anxiously while waiting to get their permits and start the yearlong road experience for driving solo without any setbacks.

“I am so excited to be getting my permit,” Joelle Grimes, ’06, said. “I haven’t had much time to go and get it, but when I do I know I will love driving.”

Some teenagers look for a driving school months before their 15th birthday in order to have a wide variety of choices. Shopping around for the perfect school may be wise because some schools are pricier than others.

The State of California requires learners to spend 30 hours studying Drivers Education before they can obtain a DMV Learners Permit. Courses range from $75- $200 per participant.

“I’m looking for a driving school that’s not too expensive,” Garrett Horn, ’07, said. “I think it’s hard to find a school where the price of attending driving classes is reasonable.”

Many teens that acquire their license begin to use their driving privilege immediately.

“When I got my licence I was so excited that I could drive alone without my parents being in the car,” Cabias said. “It was such a good feeling that I could drive myself when I wanted to go somewhere.”

Although getting a license may be a step toward freedom, the State of California still has restrictions on driving privileges for a year after receiving the license. Someone who has recently acquired a license cannot drive with non-family members in the car for six months while they have a provisional license.

“When I first got a license, 2 1/2 years ago, the only place I drove was to school and back,” Derrick Lehman, ’04, said. “I didn’t take any friends with me because I knew I would break the six-month driving law.”

For more information on driver’s education or to find out the requirements for getting a permit or license, students and parents can visit www.cal-drivers-ed.com/page6.htm. The Fresno Unified School District, along with many districts in the state, recommend the Cal-Drivers-Ed home study driver’s educational class.

While there are many other driver’s educational programs available, the California DMV web site lists Drivers Ed in a box as a driver education resource. Potential drivers can access their site at www.driveredtraining.com/.

The Department of Motor Vehicles can be reached online at www. california.dmv.org/states/CA_DMV_California for online sources including traffic schools, automobile insurance, forms, manuals and study guides.