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Petition Slams State's New Driving Rule: This Can Turn 'Catastrophic'

Georgia sees nearly 20K teens who just got their licenses without having to take a road test
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2020 7:20 AM CDT
Updated May 10, 2020 10:18 AM CDT

(Newser) – Lots of excited young people have taken one state up on its offer to get behind the wheel during the coronavirus pandemic—almost 20,000, to be exact. That's how many new under-20 drivers there have been in Georgia over the past two weeks after Gov. Brian Kemp issued a temporary waiver nixing the requirement for a road test to get licensed, Fox News reports. As of Wednesday, the state's Department of Driver Services says 19,483 teens have had their permits upgraded since Kemp's waiver was put in place on April 23. "I had been nervous about the driving test, with the parallel parking and all that, so I was happy that I didn't have to do it," one 17-year-old tells CNN. Not everyone is thrilled that so many newbies are now on the road without that final step.

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Sarah Casto, a Henry County driving instructor, has started a petition pleading with the governor to put the road test requirement back on the books for both teens and adult drivers, per FOX 5 Atlanta. "The ramifications from even a few weeks of unskilled drivers getting their license can be catastrophic," reads the petition, which had just over 1,000 signatures as of Thursday morning. Meanwhile, KARE 11 reports Wisconsin is also now on board the no-road-test train: A pilot program announced by the state's Department of Transportation Tuesday will let the under-18 set skip the 15-minute road exam as well. While some remain concerned, one local police chief is all for the program, noting, "There's no harm in trying something new. If it doesn't work, change it." (Read more Georgia stories.)

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