ATLANTA – State Representative Imani Barnes (D-Tucker) recently announced that she has drafted legislation, titled the “Safe Teens Act,” that would authorize local boards of education and other public school governing bodies to offer driver education as an elective course. This legislation will be formally introduced during the 2024 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly.
“Research indicates that motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death for young drivers age 15 to 20,” said Rep. Barnes. “With this proposed legislation, it is my intent to ensure all young drivers in Georgia are given the opportunity to equip themselves with the necessary tools and resources to be properly educated on driver safety. Young drivers are often distracted or inexperienced, thus leading to increasing reports of reckless or impaired driving. As a member of the House Committee on Higher Education, I am passionate about giving Georgia’s students access to all forms of education and, in this case, driver safety. It is my hope that this legislation will make Georgia’s roads safe and open doors for young drivers across the state to learn how to be safer and smarter when operating a motor vehicle on Georgia’s roads and highways.”
The drafted legislation states that each local board of education or other public school governing body would have the ability to offer an elective driver education training course to high school students as long as the course is approved by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Upon completion of the course, any high school student would be awarded one-half unit of elective credit to count towards graduation under this proposed legislation. Funding for the driver education course would be appropriated from local boards of education, public school governing bodies, student fees or state funds.
The full text of Rep. Barnes’ drafted legislation is below.
Representative Imani Barnes represents the citizens of District 86, which includes portions of DeKalb County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2022 and currently serves on the Higher Education, Small Business Development and Technology and Infrastructure committees.