Proposed online pre-driving course faces some criticism

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — This session, lawmakers unanimously voted in favor of creating an online course program New Yorkers could complete before taking an on-the-road drivers test.

Proponents say it will be more accessible than completing an in-person course, but some driving instructors have concerns.

“This is one class computers should not teach,” Marybeth’s School of Driving owner Marybeth Stacchini said.

A spokesperson from the bill sponsor’s office says it does not replace the on-the-road driving portion of the courses.

And that “It benefits those who are applying for a drivers license, by making the process more convenient and accessible.”

Stacchini says it could also be tough to verify who took the online course.

“They could be watching TV while doing the course or pay their little brother and sister to do the course,” she said. “So it doesn’t mean they’re going to learn, and then they’re going to take a very minimal road test, and then they’re going to be on the same roads as everybody else driving.”

Meanwhile the spokesperson for Senator Tim Kennedy’s office says:

“The DMV is already offering online services and this would only further complement those efforts.”

For Stacchini, who runs a business teaching drivers education, she says there’s some things an internet course may not be able to drive home.

“I’ve lost a lot of people in my life,” she said. “I’ve lost my mate, and when I talk about stories around the area that they’ve heard of or they know of, it hits them more than something that might be on the internet that doesn’t touch them or make them feel anything inside.

A spokesperson for the Governor’s Office says the bill in under review.

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