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8/26/2004 12:10:55 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--Calls Needed to Protect Parent-Taught Driver's Education

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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August 26, 2004


Colorado--Calls Needed to Protect Parent-Taught Driver's Education


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Governor Owens needs to hear from you. We urge you to call him so he
realizes that one of the bureaucracies in his administration is
thwarting the intent of a new law regarding driver's education. These
unauthorized changes negatively effect all homeschool teens.

Earlier this year, Colorado House Bill 1017 was passed into law. It
permitted teens to obtain a learners permit at age 15 years 6 months
if they enroll in a "4-Hour Prequalification Driver Awareness Program"
approved by the Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division. Teens
can then receive a full driver's license at age 16 years 6 months.

Unfortunately, the officials at the Department have taken it upon
themselves to change a good law into a bad law.

The legislative intent of the new law allowed for ALL driver education
companies to create this new 4-hour Awareness program, provided the
Department approves their curriculum. Also, it is very important to
thousands of families in Colorado to be able to complete the new
4-hour program from home via a manual, CD, or on-line - instead of having to
take the course in a public classroom setting.

Wayne Tully of National Driver Training
Institute-NDTI (who testified and helped craft the language), and
HSLDA was assured by the House of Representatives, the State Senate,
and the Department that we would have several programs to choose from
and our teenagers would be able to complete the program from home.

The approval of NDTI's program in February 2004 gave the security
needed to assure everyone concerned that our teenagers would not be
forced to attend a public classroom setting to complete this new "4-Hour
Prequalification Driver Awareness Program."

However, the Department has cancelled the approval of the NDTI 4 hour
driver's education program. NO reason was given. The Department also
announced that only one program is approved, and has stated that the
4-hour program cannot be completed at home.

In June, Wayne Tulley and Chris Klicka met with the Department for two
and a half hours but no solution was found.

The Department should not be allowed to rewrite the new law, overturn
our legislator's decisions, and create new rules and regulations out
of thin air.

The Governor needs to hear from you now!


REQUESTED ACTION:

Call or write to Governor Bill Owens and please give him this message
in your own words:

"Please tell the Department of Revenue's Motor Vehicle Division not to
misapply the new driver's education law (HB 1017). The legislature did
not intend to give a monopoly to one driver's education company. I was
told I would have a choice of curriculums and be able to have my teen
take the 4 hour awareness program from our home. Now the Department
has even disapproved of the National Driver Training Institute's 4
hour program. Please contact the Department of Revenue's Motor
Vehicle Division and insist that they follow their own published
regulations and the law signed by you."

Bill Owens, Governor
136 State Capital, Denver CO 80203-1792
Voice: 303-866-2471
Fax: 303-866-2003
Email: governorowens@state.co.us


BACKGROUND:

The majority of the driver's education law is good. Teens can still
obtain a learners permit at 15 years old if they enroll in a full
driver education course and obtain a full license at 16-years old. (No
change in law).

All teenagers must maintain a permit for a period of one year from the
date they receive it. (Change from 6 months to 1 year)

All permits are good for a period of three years from the date they
receive it. (Change from 9 months or 1 year to 3 years)

In a letter dated June 7, 2004 (from Michael Tibbits, CDL Compliance
Manager for the Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Business Group),
Mr. Tibbits withdrew the prior approval of NDTI's 4-Hour
Pre-Qualification Course and approved only the 4-Hour
Pre-Qualification Course of the National Safety Council. This action
is contrary to the legislation enacted by the Colorado legislature and
is arbitrary and capricious.

It was also disclosed by M. Michael Cooke, Executive Director,
Department of Revenue that she would not allow home study or on-line
programs to be used for this 4-Hour Pre-Qualification Course. No
reason has been given for this denial.

What does this mean for you?

Today, if you choose to obtain a permit for your teen after 15 and 6
months, and you do not want to or cannot pay for a full driver
education course, you must complete a 4-Hour Pre-Qualification Course
offered by the National Safety Council. You will not be allowed to
complete this program from your home and you must attend a public
classroom in order to complete the program.

For more information on House Bill 1017 and the Motor Vehicle
Division's interpretation of it see
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?ID=1771


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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