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1/29/2004 3:14:01 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Vermont--Update: Signs of Progress on House Bill 560

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 29, 2004

Dear Vermont HSLDA members and friends:

Many of you have already responded to our request for calls and
emails in support of House Bill 560, which would permit homeschool
parents to teach their own children to drive. The House Education
Committee has begun to get the message!

At 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 29, the Committee will hear
testimony on H560. Retta Dunlap of the Christian Home Educators of
Vermont will testify in support. Bonnie Rutledge, the Commissioner
of Motor Vehicles, has indicated that she intends to support H560 at
this point. Richard Catesthe, Commissioner of Education, has not
indicated any opposition to the bill.

An expert on the subject of parent-taught driver's education is
coming to Vermont to testify in support of H560. Wayne Tully, of the
National Driving Institute, will be flying from Colorado on the 4th
and 5th of February to help legislators understand how effective
parents can be in teaching their own children safe driving skills.


Action Requested:

If you have not yet emailed or called the House Education Committee,
please do so. Here is a list of the committee members.

Please give them this message:

"Please support House Bill 560. Studies show parent-taught driver's
education saves lives. I urge you vote for this bill so I have the
right to give my children the safest and most thorough driver's
training available."

Here is a list of the committee members:

Rep. Howard Crawford (R-Burke)chair
hcrawford@stj.k12.vt.us
626.8226

Rep. George Cross (D-Winooski) vice-chair
82 Dufresne Drive,
Winooski, VT 05404
655.4611

Rep. William Aswad (D-Burlington)
74 Ridgewood Drive
Burlington, VT 05401
862.2067

Rep. Carolyn Whitney Branagan (R-Georgia)
cbranagan@leg.state.vt.us
Dunmore@adelphia.net
527.7694

Rep. Henry Chen (D-Mendon)
hchen@leg.state.vt.us
775.1695

Rep. Virginia Duffy (R-Rutland City)
vduffy@leg.state.vt.us
773.8943

Rep. Kevin Endres (R-Milton)
kendres@leg.state.vt.us
MrMtBus@aol.com
893.0765

Rep. Steve Hingtgen (P-Burlington)
shingtgen@leg.state.vt.us
355.6853

Rep. Kathy LaBelle LaVoie (R-Swanton)
klavoie@leg.state.vt.us
klavoie@together.net
868.4807

Rep. Rosemary McLaughlin (D-S. Royalton)
rmclaughlin@leg.state.vt.us
rozo@valley.net
763.5262

Rep. Ann Seibert (D-Norwich)
386 Main Street
Norwich, VT 05055
649.1282


BACKGROUND:

H560 has been introduced by two influential Vermont legislators who
want to do something positive for homeschoolers. Rep. Howard
Crawford is the Chairman of the House Education Committee. Rep.
Frank Mazur, the co-sponsor, is Chairman of the House Transportation
Committee.

Parents have two choices for their children's state-approved driver
education: pay for their children to be taught how to drive at a
commercial driving school by certified instructors, or try to
persuade the local public schools to make room in their driver's
education courses.

Many states allow parents a third state-approved option: teach your
own children how to drive. States for too long has restricted
parents' right to teach their children to drive. There are courses
designed with this option in mind - that of the parents conducting
the instruction.

Now we have an opportunity to pass H560 to expand parental choices.

In addition, statistics show parent-taught driver training saves
lives. For example, compare the following facts:

According to insurance company statistics, out of every 100 teen
drivers:

- 37 will be ticketed for speeding,
- 28 will be involved in accidents,
- 13 will be injured in an automobile accident,
- 4 will be ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol or
drugs, and
- 1 will be killed in an automobile accident.

On the other hand, according to a University of Colorado-Colorado
Springs survey, for every 100 students using a parent-taught driver
education program (provided by the National Driver Training Institute
of Colorado Springs):

- 8 were ticketed for speeding,
- 8 were involved in accidents,
- 6 were injured in automobile accidents,
- 1 was ticketed for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
and
- there were NO fatalities.

This study and others demonstrate that parent-taught driver education
produces safer drivers.


Conclusion

Thank you for your participation in this legislative effort! With
your help, the Vermont Legislature will see what a difference
homeschoolers can make at the statehouse.


Sincerely,

Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney



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