Mandatory Drivers Ed Proposed

TAMPA -

It won't be long before state lawmakers gather in Tallahassee for their regular legislative session. Among the bills they'll consider this year is one that would make drivers education mandatory for high school graduation. And the idea comes from a high school student.

Fifteen-year-old T.J. Mouse is currently enrolled in a driver's education class at Chamberlain High School. The Tampa teen told lawmakers this weekend hes seen his peers driving improve due to the instruction.

Mouse thinks, if teens were required to take drivers education, accident rates would fall and insurance premiums decline. He believes the class instruction would help curb teens from text messaging and talking on the cell phone while driving.

Mouse';'s proposal beat out 14 other legislative bills drafted by students for the Fourth Annual 'Ought to Be a Law' competition sponsored by State Rep. Kevin Ambler and State Sen. Victor Crist.

Ambler says several factors were considered when selecting the winner including looking for a bill that would have the best chance of making it through committees.

Ambler says it's a powerful and persuasive argument that a teenager is proposing the Drivers Education graduation requirement.

Now, all 15 student finalists will work together to research, rewrite and lobby for passage of the winning bill.

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