Nebraska bill would tighten requirements for youths to get driving permits

| 1/22/2004

State Sen. Curt Bromm, Wahoo, NE, has proposed a bill that would tighten restrictions for teen drivers in the state.

LB1147 would require 14- and 15-year-olds to take a state-approved driver’s education course and pass a test before they could receive their drivers’ permits.

Nebraska allows 14-year-olds to drive only if they live in a rural area at least 1 ½ miles from their school; in other areas, students must wait until they are 15 to receive a permit, one year before they can legally obtain a license.

The bill allows young permit holders to drive to and from school and school activities, but only by the most direct route, and only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

According to the text of the proposal, the course that would allow younger drivers to get their permits would have to include “behind-the-wheel driving specifically emphasizing the effects of the consumption of alcohol on a person operating a motor vehicle, occupant protection systems, risk assessment, and railroad crossing safety.”

The bill does not require any knowledge of how to share the road safely with trucks.

The youth would also have to have “proof of successful completion of a written examination and driving test administered by a driver safety course instructor or a certificate in a form licensed driver at least 21 years of age, verifying that the applicant has completed 50 hours of lawful motor vehicle operation under conditions that reflect department-approved driver safety course curriculum.”

The Associated Press reported Bromm, who is speaker of the states’ one-house Legislature, drafted the bill to clear up inconsistencies across the state in issuing permits, and that he constructed it using input from Nebraska students.