Thursday, August 2, 2007

No Pass / No Drive Law: New Kentucky Drivers License Law Affects Teens

Under the new No Pass / No Drive law, teen drivers in Kentucky will be denied a driver's license unless they pass the majority of their classes and have fewer than nine unexcused absences at school. School drop-outs risk drivers license penalties, too. And teen drivers in Kentucky may lose their license if they can't keep up with the curriculum. It's up to Kentucky schools to provide information to the Transportation Cabinet if students are failing classes.

I'm all for promoting better grades in school, and using incentives to keep kids in school. But the No Pass / No Drive laws feel kind of intrusive, like something that should be enforced in the home, not by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

And what about kids who are already struggling in school? Will they really want to take harder classes, knowing what the penalty for failing will be? Also, I worry about kids who drop out specifically to work. Yes, it's all well and good to say school is king, and that's how I was raised, too. But it isn't always realistic. Hopefully, the No Pass / No Drive appeals process will work in favor of kids who are struggling to make ends meet.

Also, I am curious to see how the schools and the Transportation Cabinet in Kentucky stay on top of all of this. Is software developed or in the works that does notifications for them automatically? Or will this be a lot of extra work that they have to do manually? That will be key to the No Pass / No Drive law's success.

I guess it's kind of moot to debate the issues; the No Pass / No Drive law has been steamrolling across states for more than a decade. Presumably there is a lot of positive data to support rolling it out in Kentucky.

Your thoughts?