MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Students want driver’s education added to the district’s curriculum.
Many students said they have learn how to drive on their own because they say private driver’s education classes can cost $300 or more.
Makaila Mayes, White Station High School student, said she is a self-taught driver.
“I just got the book from my uncle and went through it by myself and went to the DMV, missed school a couple of days just to try to get it done,” Mayes said.
More than two dozen students from Melrose and White Station High Schools traveled to Nashville Tuesday and urged state lawmakers to pass House Bill 2443.
The legislation sponsored by Rep. G.A Hardaway of Memphis would require title one public high schools to provide at least one driver education course for students.
Catherine Hudspetah said she wants this bill passed.
“It would be less expensive for us at least and a lot of the other kids can’t even afford the book and there’s just a lot of kids that are scared to drive and I think it would be really good to help them feel safer,” said Hudspetah.
State records from 2011 to 2015 showed there were more than 30,000 crashes that involved teens in Shelby County.
During that five-year period, 262 teens were hospitalized for crash related injuries and 33 teens died from crashes.
Three students testified before lawmakers about the importance of the bill.
Hudspetah believed that speaking to lawmakers was a huge deal.
“I felt like I was making a really big impact on our school and other schools and it felt like a direct impact,” Hudspetah said.
Yazmine Cox, Melrose High School student, said she was nervous before speaking to lawmakers over the phone.
“At first I was kind of nervous but after I talked to them personally, like really talked to them, I feel like they could relate and knew where we were coming from,” said Cox.
Lawmakers plan to discuss the bill next week.
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