Joshua’s Law: what’s the point?


Nadia Butt, Reporter

Georgia passed Joshua’s Law in 2007, requiring teenagers who wish to acquire a driver’s licence at the age of 16 to take a 30 hour drivers ed course. Many teens do this so they can receive their license as soon as possible, while others wait for a whole year to avoid having to take the course. Does this course really improve one’s ability to prevent an accident?

Joshua’s Law rose from the tragic death of 18 year old Joshua Brown. Brown drove his truck on a two lane highway one rainy night, but he never returned. His truck began to hydroplane, and due to lack of knowledge of what to do in that situation, he skidded into a tree. After being rushed to the hospital, Joshua managed to stand his ground in his fight against death for six days, but on July 9, 2003, his life came to an end. Wracked with grief cooped with the guilt from having not taught their only son what to do in a situation like that, his family launched a program to help make sure this would not happen to anyone else’s children. Within one year, Joshua’s parents created the Joshua Brown foundation in order to raise money to provide a proper education for teenagers and went into court to have Joshua’s Law passed.

Many people groan about the tediousness that comes with having to do driver’s ed no matter if they take it via online classes or in person. True, the classes can be a serious bore, but the value of the information gained borders on invaluable. Drivers ed teaches you what to do in emergency situations like the one mentioned above. It stresses the importance of driving safety because most accidents that occur are 100% preventable. Knowledge about what to do in a dangerous situation can mean the difference between walking away and being carried away.

Some people worry about the fee that accompanies the course, but this minuscule fee does not even compare to the immense value of human life. The price varies from $500 to $14 to completely free of cost depending on what that person looks for in terms of education. Even the DMV’s website contains discounts on the courses, so price problem proves not a problem.

Overall, Joshua’s Law lowers the rate of crashes by giving young drivers a step by step set of directions on what to do when things go wrong. The worth of the education greatly outweighs the tediousness, especially because the class in itself can be pretty interesting at times.