New law to allow 14 to 17-year-olds farm driving permits stirs debate in Oklahoma | #schoolsaftey

A new law allowing 14 to 17-year-olds to obtain a Farm Driving Permit will go into effect on Nov. 1.

This law will allow teenagers who are either employed by or live on a farm to be able to drive while going to, from, or in conjunction with any farm job, employment, or other farm-related work.

“This law has been in place in Kansas for over 60 years,” said Representative Carl Newton. “I looked at Kansas, we pulled the law that they’ve utilized. I contacted the Department of Public Safety in Kansas, they had no concerns and have had no problems with it.”

Though the Department of Public Safety in Kansas didn’t have concerns with it, some in Oklahoma do.

“You’re going to have some concerns everywhere and the main biggest ones I’ve had concerns was with the driver or structure schools; they feel like they’ve been pushed out of this,” said Newton.

Don Hancock, the Owner of Safer Driving School, says that Oklahoma laws prevent them from being able to help some of these students who are now on the road.

“They are exempt from taking any Driver’s Education program at all,” said Hancock.

Not just exempt. Hancock says that some of the students who will benefit from the new law can’t take driving lessons from driving schools because current law doesn’t allow these schools to teach students under the age of 15, so even though the lessons may be necessary for safety, driving schools are prohibited from helping them.

“The Oklahoma State law states for any student to take a driver’s education program, they must be 15 years of age or older. So if you’re 14, we can’t help you. And to me, that’s a big concern,” said Hancock.

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