It should scare you that more than 20,000 teenagers in Georgia have obtained their driver’s licenses without taking a road-skills driving test. This is just one of the broad and far-reaching impacts the Coronavirus pandemic has had on nearly every aspect of people’s lives.
For decades it has been a rite of passage for young people to grace the halls of their local Department of Driver Services to obtain their driver’s license. Before COVID-19, new drivers had to do the following before taking a written test as well as a road-skills driving test:
- Hold a learner’s permit for 1 year and 1 day
- Have no major traffic violations
- Complete 40-hours of supervised driving with at least six-hours of night driving
- Pass a vision exam
COVID Has Caused a Backlog of Driver Tests
However, along with everything else this traditional approach to earning the right to drive has been upended by the pandemic. The closure of state license offices has created a backlog of thousands of driver tests. To deal with this issue Governor Brian Kemp used his emergency powers to waive the requirement of a road test to those young drivers who have had their learner’s permit for at least a year with no violations and can certify that they have completed the 40-hours of supervised instruction on the road.
No Road Test Required
As a result, countless teenagers have received their licenses without being required to take a road test. Even though state officials point out that the passage rate for the test was more than 80% on the first try, there are at least 4,000 unprepared drivers who now have free rein to drive on the busy roads, highways and interstates of Georgia.
While the teens and young drivers are ecstatic about being able to drive by just passing a written exam, this is a risky decision that will lead to a significant increase in car accident throughout Georgia. Even a single unprepared driver is frightening and we see the results of this every day on the news, often with tragic consequences or, at the very least, major inconveniences to the rest of the population as roadways are snarled due to accidents.
Many things must change because of the Coronavirus but road tests shouldn’t be one of them. Yes, there may be a backlog and it might have taken some young people longer than they would have liked to complete their road test but ultimately this is an issue of public safety. Nevertheless, for good or ill the decision has been made and the rest of us will have to live with the consequences. Unprepared drivers will lead to more accidents. You may be one of the many affected by the sudden influx of young drivers.
Hire an Attorney if You've Been Injured by a New Driver
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a young, new, reckless or unprepared driver there is someone in your corner who stands ready to assist. The principled and tough attorneys of Georgia Trial Attorneys are prepared to take on the greedy insurance companies and hold irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions. Let us fight for you! Let us help you get the compensation you deserve!