Posted: Jul 24, 2012 2:50 PM by AP
Updated: Jul 24, 2012 3:59 PM
BATON ROUGE - A bill passed in this spring's legislative session will usher in sweeping new changes to Louisiana's driver licensing law. The new law, which takes effect August 1, mandates an increased number of classroom training hours as well as behind-the-wheel driving instruction for first time licensure applicants.
Senate Bill 667, sponsored by Senator Gary Smith, requires those seventeen years of age to attend a 38 hour driver education course versus the previous requirement of a 6 hour pre-licensing course. The new law will also impact new applicants 18 years and older by now requiring 8 hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction in addition to the 6 hours of classroom instruction.
"I believe this change will produce safer drivers, reduce accidents and save lives. It is also a step toward stabilizing and maybe even reducing automobile insurance rates," said Senator Gary Smith, Jr.
"Far too often in law enforcement, we see the tragic consequences of crashes involving teens. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Additionally, teens are four times more likely to crash than older drivers. We must ensure that our teenagers are prepared to take on the tremendous responsibility of safely operating a motor vehicle. The public not only expects it but demands it," said Colonel Mike Edmonson, Deputy Secretary - Department of Public Safety.
"Public safety continues to be our number one priority at the Office of Motor Vehicles. We have an obligation to ensure that we license individuals who are ready to assume the responsibility of operating motor vehicles on the highways of our state. Training is a key component of their readiness," said OMV Commissioner Steve Campbell.
Individuals that are currently holding a 6 hour pre-licensing certificate must make application prior to August 1st, 2012 or they will need to comply with the new requirements.
Should the public have questions regarding the new requirements, they may contact the Office of Motor Vehicles at (225) 922-1664.
OMV Website: www.expresslane.org
Driving schools: http://omv.dps.state.la.us/CDL%20Forms/certifiedDrivingSchoolLists.asp