PWCS Driver Education Model Becomes State Law
Virginia Code §22.1-205 Driver education programs, requires students to accompany their parents/guardians to participate in a 90-minute traffic safety program as part of their in-classroom driver education curriculum. This program requirement must be met before a student receives a Driver Education Certificate of Completion card (DEC-1 card).
Parents/guardians and students are strongly encouraged to attend the program at the time the student is enrolled in the classroom driver education course. The Virginia Code that mandates this program requires the parent and student to meet the 90-minute participation requirement. Doors will close promptly at the beginning of the presentation. In order to meet the 90-minute requirement of participation by parents and students, participants will not be permitted to enter the program after it has started and the doors are closed. Presentations are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on weeknights and 10 a.m. on Saturdays.
Parents and their students are strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines:
1. Attend the school presentation where your child attends school. If your schedule does not allow you to attend at your school, you may attend any PWCS high school presentation.
2. Parents and students shall attend a meeting in the school year that the student is in HPE II which includes classroom driver education.
3. No student may begin range/road instruction until they have received the required DEC 1 card.
This state law requires students to accompany their parent/guardian to the 90-minute driver safety class within the driver education curriculum. The law applies to all schools in Virginia’s Planning District 8, which includes Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Arlington counties and the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, Falls Church, and Alexandria.
According to state data, teen drivers who have completed the PWCS driver education program have the lowest crash rate in Virginia. “Statistics from 2009 show that for every 100 students that complete the Driver Education licensing process through the PWCS Driver Education Office, only 2.19 students have an accident in their first year as a driver. “During the six years the program has been mandatory in PWCS, teen crash rates have been reduced from 17 percent to the current 2.19 percent.”
The Partners for Safe Teen Driving Program teaches parents about current state driving laws, discusses techniques for coaching teens, empowers the parent to assist their student in managing the high risk driving environment in our community, and offers other essential safety information.