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Statehouse Committee Mulls Higher Minimum Driving Age

A committee is debating whether Indiana teens should have to wait until their 17th birthday to drive if they don’t take a driver’s education course.

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Photo: Regan McCarthy

Currently, students may get licenses if they're as young as 16 1/2.

Currently, teens who take driver’s education must wait until they’re at least 16 1/2 to get a license, while those without instruction must wait until they’re 16 years and nine months old.  Markle Senator Travis Holdman says he won’t support the idea of raising that age to 17 until he sees data showing driver’s education makes a significant difference in preventing tickets and accidents.

“Before we create a hardship for families to push that to 17, it needs to be based on some empirical data rather than just on what other states have done and just because we think that’s a good thing,” he said.

Indianapolis Senator Greg Taylor says while creating a greater incentive to take driver’s ed is fine, the legislature needs to keep in mind the cost of such classes.

“And if we’re going to do that, we should have some kind of cost controls so that we don’t create a system where the haves have something and the have-nots don’t have an opportunity,” Taylor said.

The committee will meet again in early September.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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