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3/9/2005 11:47:57 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Colorado--Calls Needed Today to Save Parent-Taught Driver's Education Bill

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 9, 2005


Colorado--Calls Needed Today to Save Parent-Taught Driver's Education
Bill


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Calls are needed now to save House Bill 1235, which will make it
possible for your 15 year-old homeschooled student to more easily
obtain a driver's permit.

HB 1235 will require the Department of Revenue to allow you to use
parent-taught driver's education programs to complete a 4 hour
required course necessary for your 15 year-old to obtain a learner's
permit.

The bill is scheduled to be heard by the House Transportation and
Energy Committee again TODAY (March 9th) at 1:30 pm.

HB 1235 will amend the law to clarify that parents can teach their
child the 4-hour prequalification driver's education course in the
home rather than go to a public school.

This bill will increase freedom for any parent who wishes to be
directly involved with their child's driving instruction.

The committee members need to hear from you now. Partisan politics may
overwhelm this common sense bill if you do not call.


ACTION REQUESTED

Please call as many members of the House Transportation and Energy
Committee as you can and give them this message:

"Please vote yes on House Bill 1235. This bill will benefit families
and allow parents to be more involved in their child's drivers
training. This bill helps 15 year-olds be better drivers. Please do
not let partisan politics defeat this common sense bill."

House Transportation and Energy Committee:

Representative Jack Pommer, Chairman
303-866-2780

Representative Liane McFadyen, Vice-Chair
303-866-2905

Representative Alice Borodkin
303-866-2910

Representative Bill Cadman
303-866-5525

Representative Gwyn Green
303-866-2951

Representative Lynn Hefly
303-866-2924

Representative Matt Knoedler
303-866-2927

Representative Mark Larson
303-866-2914

Representative Gary Lindstrom
303-866-2952

Representative Ann Ragsdale
303-866-2843

Representative Jim Welker
303-866-2947


BACKGROUND

Last year a Colorado bill was passed into law that 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 and 6 months.

Unfortunately, the officials at the Department decided to change a
good law into a bad law. Despite assurances to homeschool leaders that
parent-taught driver's education programs would be approved to teach
the 4-hour prequalification course, the Department announced that only
one program (taught outside the home) is approved. The Department has
stated that the 4-hour required prequalification course CANNOT be
completed at home.

Wayne Tulley of the National Driver's Training Institute and Chris
Klicka of HSLDA met with the Department of Revenue in Denver for 2
hours last June, but the Department refused to change its policy. They
will not allow parent taught driver's education programs to teach the
4-hour prequalification course.

The legislative intent of the law passed last year allowed for ALL
driver education companies to create the new 4-hour prequalification
course, 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 course from home via a manual, CD, or on-line
instead of having to take the course in the setting of a public
classroom.

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 course from home.

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
prequalification course and approved only the 4-hour prequalification
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 the 4-hour prequalification 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 age 15 and
6 months, and you do not want to or cannot pay for a full driver
education course, you must complete the 4-hour prequalification 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.

Thank you for your willingness to be involved.

Sincerely,


Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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As a member of HSLDA, you have 80,000 families standing with you
to protect and advance homeschool freedoms in the United States
and foreign countries.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1106

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