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New law improves state licensing program

Published: Friday, June 27, 2014 8:47 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:02 a.m. CDT

The law proposed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to further improve Illinois’ heralded Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program takes effect July 1. 

The new law requires people ages 18 to 20 who failed to attend driver education to complete a six-hour driver training and education course before applying for a driver’s license, according to a news release.

“Since we implemented one of the nation’s most comprehensive GDL programs in 2008, teen driving fatalities have dropped nearly 60 percent,” White said in the release. “But even the best programs can be made better, and this legislation will help strengthen our state’s GDL program, and hopefully save more lives.”

Prior to this law, when teens turned 18 – even without any driver education whatsoever – they were allowed to apply for and obtain a driver’s license. In 2013, there were 37,543 driver’s licenses issued to 18- to 20-year-olds. Of those,18,532 did not take driver education.

The six-hour driver training course includes a variety of critical traffic safety components, including instruction on traffic laws; highway signs, signals and markings; issues commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents such as poor decision-making, risk-taking, impaired driving, distraction, speed, not wearing a safety belt, driving at night, failure to yield the right-of-way, texting while driving, using wireless communication devices; and alcohol and drug awareness.

Upon successful conclusion of the program, a certificate of completion will be provided to the individual. They will then be ready to take the required vision, written and road tests before receiving a driver’s license.

The training and education course will be offered by driving schools that have been certified by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office to offer this specific program. Depending on the driving school, the six-hour program may be available through a classroom setting or an online service. 

For information about the program, including a list of school providers, visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

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