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Driving in Georgia: What You Need to Know About Joshua's Law

UPDATE: Starting July 1, 2021 teenagers (ages 16 and 17) attempting to get their driver's license in Georgia will have to meet new requirements. Learn more here


Different states have particular laws covering various subject matters, from building restrictions to the legality of marijuana. In particular, Georgia has Senate Bill 226 or more popularly known as "Joshua's Law." It's a set of general guidelines that oversee the driving education policies that teenagers need to go through if they want to apply for a Class D driver's license. Figuring out Joshua's Law's history and what this means for driving students is necessary if you want to drive in the state of Georgia.


Where did Joshua's Law come from?


Back in 2003, a young boy named Joshua Brown died in a fatal car accident. His cause of death is crashing into a tree after hitting a large puddle of water. This hydroplaned his vehicle and sent him tumbling to crash. After 7 days, he died under medical care. His parents began to push for stronger driving safety laws to prevent other parents of teenagers from experiencing what they went through.


The Browns concluded that one of the factors of their son's death is the unawareness of what to do during specific driving conditions. Since Joshua didn't have any driving law education, he didn't know the right maneuvers to do in his situation. After 4 years, Joshua's Law came into effect in 2007, revising the requirements for teen drivers in Georgia applying for a license. This ensures that applicants understand driving laws and particular driving situations to protect them from harm.


Driver's Education Requirements - As stated in the DDS Georgia Department of Driver Services 2020 Drivers manual

• To obtain a Class D license at the age of 16 you must complete a driver education course approved by DDS. An approved driver education course consists of:
• either 30 hours of classroom instruction OR completion of an equivalent online virtual course;
AND
• 6 hours of on-the-road experience with a certified instructor OR completion of the DDS approved Parent-Teen Driving Guide;
• You must also have completed a cumulative total of at least 40 hours of other driving experience, including at least 6 hours at night. An affidavit must be signed certifying that this requirement has been met.
NOTE
• if the teen obtains the on-the-road component of driver’s education from a certified instructor, a separate document affirming that this requirement has been met must be completed at the time of the road test.
• If you have not completed the driver education requirements, you cannot obtain a Class D license until you reach the age of 17.


Conclusion


It's best to prepare yourself for the different conditions you have to face for your own safety. Besides knowing how to drive your car, you should also educate yourself on each state's particular laws. Doing so will help you avoid any unintentional offenses and allows you to defend yourself from claims of car-related violations.


Receiving the right education will make it easier to breeze through your required driving hours. Athens Driving Prep is a driving school in Athens, GA that offers affordable driving packages to help you become an educated driver. Contact us today, and let our services help you be a smarter motorist on the road!