Bill would allow 14-year-olds to drive themselves to charter schools

teenage driver
Should charter school students be eligible for a restricted driver's license that allows them to drive to and from school? "Drivers License - Teen driver" by State Farm is licensed under CC BY 2.0
teenage driver
Should charter school students be eligible for a restricted driver’s license that allows them to drive to and from school? “Drivers License – Teen driver” by State Farm is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the challenges many charter schools face is an inability to provide transportation to their students. A group of lawmakers has a novel solution to that problem: Allow the students to drive themselves.

Assemblywoman Alexis Hansen this week introduced Assembly Bill 213, a bill that would allow some charter school students to obtain restricted driver’s licenses in order to transport themselves — and possibly other students — to charter schools.

The concept of teenagers driving themselves to school before they qualify for the standard teen driver’s license at age 16 isn’t unheard of. In Nevada, students enrolled in public schools in counties where the population is less than 55,000 or in a city or town with a population of less than 25,000 can already be issued a restricted driver’s license that allows them to drive to and from their school. Certain restrictions apply, including a ban on driving over 55 miles per hour. Drivers can only transport themselves, their siblings and other students (if the parents of those students have consented).

AB213 would expand eligibility of these restricted driver’s licenses to students in counties and cities of all sizes, so long as they attend a charter school that does not provide transportation to students.

Hansen represents Assembly District 32, which covers 38,000 square miles of rural Nevada. Assembly members Chris Edwards, Gregory Hafen, Glen Leavitt and Robin Titus are co-sponsoring. All similarly represent rural parts of the state.

The bill is cosponsored in the Senate by Sen. Keith Pickard, whose district spans across an urban part of Clark County.

All of the bill’s sponsors are Republican.

The full text of AB213 is available here.

April Corbin
Reporter | April Corbin is an award-winning journalist with a decade of media experience. Most recently she covered local government for Las Vegas Sun. She has also been a staff writer at LEO Weekly, web editor of Las Vegas Weekly and a blogger documenting bike share systems’ efforts to increase ridership in underserved communities. An occasional adjunct journalism professor, April steadfastly rejects the notion that journalism is a worthless major. Amid the Great Recession, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she served as editor-in-chief of its student newspaper. She later earned an M.A. in media studies and a graduate certificate in media management from The New School for Public Engagement. April serves as treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists Las Vegas pro chapter and is an at-large member of the Asian American Journalists Association. A stickler about municipal boundary lines, April enjoys teaching people about unincorporated Clark County. She grew up in Sunrise Manor and currently resides in Paradise. She lives with her boyfriend, his toddler, three mutts and five chickens. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, exploring Nevada and defending selfies.

7 COMMENTS

  1. How sad that we’re considering allowing children to drive themselves (and OTHER CHILDREN!) to school rather than having to pay for transportation using buses in order to save tax dollars.

    • some of us either can only get to school really late or really early. this bill would allow us to fix that problem. as it said on the news if you break the law with it you may not be able to get your lisense until your 18. which is fair, and will also encorage us to not break the law. and im sure that they will do everyting they can to keep everyone safe on the road. thank you

      • Great, let’s rely on the judgement of 14 year olds to “not break the law”. I’m sure your average 14 year old possess all the maturity necessary to operate a motor vehicle capable of killing themselves and other people.

        I can’t even believe people are arguing in favor of this idiocy with a straight face.

  2. Horrible idea. 14 year olds do not have the attention, or the thought process to drive in city traffic. I understand it’s ok in rural areas to get to a bus stop. But not in city limits. Our 16 year olds barely pass the tests, why would lowering it sound like a good idea?

  3. I’ve been driving since I was 7 in city limits and out in rural areas. Has nobody ever noticed the sky rocket of accidents since children have stopped being taught at a younger age. By coddling them longer we are crippling them. I think this is a great idea. Especially for charter school students who have limited options

  4. I believe this is an absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible thought.

    I was a resident of Lincoln County for over 50 years I can guarantee you that some people are responsible and some people are not regardless of age. 14 year old on ranches can certainly drive. But to drive in traffic in bigger cities is absolutely stupid.
    My sons were able to drive at a very young age because we lived out of town and it was 9 miles to get them to school. They did well the mountains on dirt roads.We drove them at that time To schoolthere was no bus. But no way would I have stuck them in a Town where the traffic was what it would be in the town of 55,000 people. Living out of town is a choice you make and sometimes you have to make sacrifices when you’re a parent

  5. Nobody talks about drivers education anymore. Teens have the highest mortality rate of all driver age groups. If you are going to sponsor a bill lowering the age even further, then include funding for professional driver training and education. Or more funding for paramedics and the coroners office.

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