Things to Keep in Mind While Kids Learn to Drive
By Candice Freeland
PADUCAH, KY - Captain Don Hodgson of the Paducah Police Department has some important information for parents of children that will soon be of driving age. He also offers some thought-provoking words on how parents themselves drive.
Hodgson explains the graduated licensing program.
"The first phase is the permit phase. They've got to be sixteen years old. That phase involves a 180-day instruction period. They're supposed to get sixty hours of practice time driving, get someone to sign off, and there's steps to document that. There's some breakdown of night-time hours versus daytime hours."
The driving skills portion of the test may be taken after the 180-day permit phase.
Hodgson gives parents some things to think about before their children approach driving age.
"I think as a parent, you're teaching your child how to drive long before they're sixteen...and they may notice a difference between the way that Mommy drives or the way that Daddy drives. Do your kids automatically get in the car and buckle up? When we come to a yellow light, do we stop or speed up? Same thing with stop signs. Do we come to a complete stop? You know, if we're speeding or texting or talking on the cell phone while we're driving, it's unreasonable to expect, that once they turn sixteen, they're going to stop that behavior."
Hodgson reiterates how important it is for the young driver to have the permit so they are not "in violation" of Kentucky law. He says supervision is important because parents are responsible for any damage their child may cause.
"I can't imagine that people would think that they wouldn't be responsible for their minor children's actions, especially if they're on public property, on a roadway. You would be in violation of the law, and parents would be responsible for that".
More information about teaching young people to drive can be found on the State Police website at kentuckystatepolice.org or the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website at transportation.ky.gov.