Legislature(2003 - 2004)

01/27/2004 01:33 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 213-PROVISIONAL DRIVER'S LICENSE                                                                                           
Number 0025                                                                                                                     
CHAIR HOLM  announced that  the only order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE BILL  NO. 213, "An  Act relating to a  provisional driver's                                                               
license and to issuance of  a driver's license; and providing for                                                               
an effective date."                                                                                                             
CHAIR HOLM acknowledged that there  wasn't a quorum yet, but said                                                               
the  committee would  take testimony.   Pointing  out a  proposed                                                               
committee  substitute (CS),  Version U,  provided since  the bill                                                               
was last heard in 2003, he requested a motion to adopt it.                                                                      
Number 0074                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE MASEK moved to adopt  the proposed CS, Version 23-                                                               
LS0786\U,  Luckhaupt, 1/23/04,  as  a work  draft; she  specified                                                               
that it was just for discussion purposes.                                                                                       
CHAIR  HOLM noted  the  arrival of  Representative  Ogg and  then                                                               
Representative Kapsner.  He  called upon Representative Weyhrauch                                                               
to explain Version U.                                                                                                           
Number 0155                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   BRUCE  WEYHRAUCH,   Alaska  State   Legislature,                                                               
sponsor, told members  that work during the  interim had resulted                                                               
in  Version U.   The  basic  reason for  the bill  is because  36                                                               
states have  implemented this kind of  graduated driver's license                                                               
provision whereby young  people getting a license  must show some                                                               
ability  to drive  and  are prohibited  from  driving at  certain                                                               
times  without  the  presence  of  an adult;  this  has  saved  a                                                               
significant number  of lives, he  said, and data provided  to the                                                               
committee shows the impacts of  this kind of legislation on young                                                               
people's lives in the United States.                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH   explained  changes   incorporated  in                                                               
Version  U.   In  Section  1,  paragraph  (2), "night"  has  been                                                               
changed  to "nighttime"  to provide  what he  characterized as  a                                                               
helpful  definition,  between  sunset  and sunrise.    The  major                                                               
difference,  however,  relates to  Section  3,  where it  says  a                                                               
person authorized to drive a  motor vehicle under the provisional                                                               
driver's license may  not, [for] the first six  months, operate a                                                               
vehicle  except  [with]  a  passenger  who  is  a  parent,  legal                                                               
guardian, or sibling,  or is at least  21 years of age.   He said                                                               
this provision is to  bring down the age to at  least 21 [and is]                                                               
in order  to take one's  little brother  along, for example.   He                                                               
mentioned driving to or from  a person's place of employment, and                                                               
said the driving must be along the most direct available route.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  referred to page  1, line 14,  where it                                                               
talks about a person who hasn't  been convicted of a violation of                                                               
a traffic law.   Noting that this deletes  earlier bill language,                                                               
"has not received  a citation", he explained  that there would've                                                               
been a logistical problem associated  with tracking if a citation                                                               
were issued.  Thus this is only concerned with a conviction.                                                                    
Number 0391                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  mentioned Nebraska  and said  many states                                                               
have a  "hardship" license under which  kids who live out  in the                                                               
country can drive to and from  school at age 14 without an adult.                                                               
She asked whether Alaska has  anything like that and whether this                                                               
would affect it.                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH deferred to  Mr. Bannock of the Division                                                               
of  Motor Vehicles  (DMV).   He  pointed out  that this  proposed                                                               
statute is  for teens between  the ages of  16 and 18,  and gives                                                               
the parent or  guardian the opportunity to say  [to DMV], "Here's                                                               
proof that  this driver has  the high-quality skills  and they've                                                               
got the requisite ... number of  hours of experience to allow you                                                               
... to issue them this license."                                                                                                
CHAIR  HOLM  noted that  Representative  Kookesh  had joined  the                                                               
meeting.  He turned attention to testimony via teleconference.                                                                  
Number 0559                                                                                                                     
RICHARD CATTANACH,  Executive Director,  AGC of  Alaska, speaking                                                               
on  behalf   of  the   American  Automobile   Association  (AAA),                                                               
presented information  he'd also  provided in  writing.   He said                                                               
driving,  a skill  learned by  doing, is  inherently risky.   The                                                               
premise of a  graduated driver's license is simple,  he said, and                                                               
it works;  if the  learning process is  extended and  exposure to                                                               
risk  is reduced  while  teens gain  skills  and experience,  the                                                               
number of crashes  involving teens will be  reduced.  Emphasizing                                                               
the need  to change how  teens are  taught to drive,  he provided                                                               
statistics as follows:                                                                                                          
     Two out of five deaths among  teens are the result of a                                                                    
     traffic crash.  Fatalities for  teens are twice that of                                                                    
     persons  35 and  older.    Crash-involvement rates  for                                                                    
     teen drivers are  three times that of  drivers in their                                                                    
     forties  and fifties.   Teen  drivers  have a  fatality                                                                    
     rate that is about four  times higher than the fatality                                                                    
     rate among  drivers 25 through 69.   Graduated driver's                                                                    
     [licenses] work.                                                                                                           
     Varying  lengths  of learner  phases,  the  LPs, as  we                                                                    
     refer  to  them:   studies  have  shown that  graduated                                                                    
     driver's  [licenses]  are  effective in  reducing  teen                                                                    
     crash rates.   California  ... experienced a  5 percent                                                                    
     reduction by  imposing a ... six-week  learning period.                                                                    
     Connecticut had  a 22 percent  reduction with  a three-                                                                    
     to six-month  learning period.  Kentucky  experienced a                                                                    
     32 percent  reduction with  a 180-day  learning period.                                                                    
     In Michigan, it was 25  percent with a 50-hour learning                                                                    
     period;  Ohio,  11  percent for  a  six-month  learning                                                                    
      period; New Zealand, 7 percent for six months; Nova                                                                       
     Scotia, 24 percent for a six-month learning period.                                                                        
MR. CATTANACH reported  that this has been  effective in reducing                                                               
injury-  and fatality-related  crash rates.   Michigan  had a  24                                                               
percent  reduction, and  Florida  an 11  percent  reduction.   In                                                               
addition,  studies  show passenger  restrictions  work.   In  New                                                               
Zealand,  passenger   restrictions  resulted   in  a   9  percent                                                               
reduction in the proportion of crashes involving teens.                                                                         
Number 0670                                                                                                                     
MR.  CATTANACH further  reported that  nighttime restrictions  at                                                               
9 p.m. for  16-year-old drivers in  North Carolina resulted  in a                                                               
47  percent  decrease in  total  crashes;  Florida, with  similar                                                               
restrictions at 11  [p.m.], saw a 17  percent decrease; Michigan,                                                               
with  restrictions from  midnight to  5  a.m., saw  a 53  percent                                                               
reduction; and New Zealand, with a  10 p.m. restriction, saw a 37                                                               
percent reduction.                                                                                                              
MR. CATTANACH  said HB  213 has  all the  components of  the most                                                               
successful graduated  driver's license systems:   it provides for                                                               
time  to learn,  with  a six-month  instruction period;  provides                                                               
behind-the-wheel experience,  with 50 hours of  certified driving                                                               
experience;  provides  for  responsibility, with  six  months  of                                                               
citation-free  driving;  and  removes  two  major  risk  factors,                                                               
passengers  and late-night  driving.   He said  AAA estimated  in                                                               
2001  that  the  State  of  Alaska,  through  graduated  driver's                                                               
licenses  over a  decade, could  prevent nearly  970 injuries  in                                                               
more than 3,000 crashes and could save more than $21 million.                                                                   
MR. CATTANACH said the time has  come to change the way teens are                                                               
taught to  drive and that  people are ready.   A recent  AAA poll                                                               
shows  74  percent of  Americans  support  laws limiting  teenage                                                               
passengers  who  may ride  with  inexperienced  teen drivers,  he                                                               
said, and 73 percent of adults  think officials should do more to                                                               
improve the safety  of drivers ages 15  to 17.  He  said it isn't                                                               
an issue of restrictions or burden,  or good kids or good parents                                                               
versus  bad.   Rather,  it's  an issue  of  traffic  safety.   He                                                               
concluded, "Extend the learning  period, reduce risk factors, and                                                               
we'll save lives."                                                                                                              
Number 0789                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  HOLM asked  whether  AAA has  any thoughts  about                                                               
insurance rates in relation to this type of program.                                                                            
MR. CATTANACH offered  to inquire.  He said he  hadn't asked that                                                               
when this initial survey was done.                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE HOLM  noted that  someone representing  State Farm                                                               
Insurance Company had signed up to testify.                                                                                     
Number 0825                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE OGG said many of  the statistics Mr. Cattanach had                                                               
provided   came   from  areas   with   a   high  population   and                                                               
sophisticated road system.   For Alaska, he asked if  there was a                                                               
statistical  breakdown   between  metropolitan  and   "rural  and                                                               
frontier" areas, and whether there is a difference.                                                                             
MR. CATTANACH  replied that he'd  expect a difference  because of                                                               
differences  in population  density;  however,  AAA doesn't  have                                                               
that kind  of data.  He  added, "We could probably  work with the                                                               
State of Alaska to develop ... that data."                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE OGG  asked whether  Mr. Cavanaugh  was speculating                                                               
that figures might be lower in rural areas.                                                                                     
MR. CATTANACH said he wasn't speculating one way or another.                                                                    
Number 0940                                                                                                                     
ANNA  BARNWELL  testified  in support  of  a  graduated  driver's                                                               
license, noting  that she is  an 18-year-old high  school student                                                               
who received  her license  at age  15 after  having a  permit for                                                               
only six  months.  Although  she's had her  license a year  and a                                                               
half, Ms.  Barnwell said she  doesn't feel she's the  best driver                                                               
out  there; in  fact, she  totaled  her mother's  car six  months                                                               
after  receiving  her  license,   due  to  falling  asleep  while                                                               
driving.   At  the  time,  she said,  she  was embarrassed  about                                                               
falling  asleep, but  now  feels  this is  a  perfect example  of                                                               
something  that could  be prevented  through use  of a  graduated                                                               
license.     She  related  her   belief  that   even  responsible                                                               
teenagers, as she  considers herself to be, often  don't make the                                                               
best decisions when doing something as important as driving.                                                                    
MS.  BARNWELL emphasized  that driving  is a  huge responsibility                                                               
that needs to be taken seriously,  and said the fact that she was                                                               
able to  get her license  with such little experience  is "really                                                               
kind of scary."  As a  high school student, Ms. Barnwell said she                                                               
is faced  with other teen drivers  daily.  "I speak  for myself -                                                               
and on ... behalf of other kids  in my school and students that I                                                               
know - that I  would feel safer driving if I  knew that every one                                                               
of my  peers had to  have the kind  of experience that  this bill                                                               
requires, and I think it's an excellent idea," she concluded.                                                                   
Number 1044                                                                                                                     
BAILEY AREND testified  in support of HB 213, noting  that he's a                                                               
16-year-old  high  school  junior  who's had  his  license  since                                                               
August, after  having his permit  nearly three years.   Saying he                                                               
thinks HB 213 is a good idea,  mainly because of the high rate of                                                               
crashes by teenage and new  drivers, Mr. Arend reported that many                                                               
of  his friends  have  been involved  in  crashes after  recently                                                               
receiving their licenses; he surmised  that many of those crashes                                                               
could  have  been  avoided  with a  little  more  experience  and                                                               
possibly an adult or other responsible person in the car.                                                                       
MR. AREND  said Alaska should  have a graduated  licensing system                                                               
because  of  dangerous  winter driving  conditions  that  include                                                               
darkness,  ice,  and  the  presence  of  moose  and  other  large                                                               
animals.  It  is harder for an inexperienced driver  to control a                                                               
skid on  icy roads, for  example.  Emphasizing new  drivers' need                                                               
for  all the  help possible,  Mr. Arend  reported that  the first                                                               
time he  drove at night in  wintertime, he slid on  black ice and                                                               
lost control of the car  while entering the highway; fortunately,                                                               
no other  cars were  hit.   He surmised that  had his  parents or                                                               
someone  else  with experience  been  with  him, he'd  have  been                                                               
informed of  the need to  use four-wheel drive, and  he indicated                                                               
it would  have been helpful  to have  someone with a  little more                                                               
experience  in the  car at  any rate.   Mr.  Arend said  the more                                                               
experience he  gets, the more  confident and careful a  driver he                                                               
is, especially under  [adverse] conditions.  He  closed by saying                                                               
it seems  sensible to give  new drivers  more time to  learn with                                                               
guidance before they are on the streets by themselves.                                                                          
Number 1172                                                                                                                     
JANIS FLEISCHMAN testified in support  of HB 213, noting that she                                                               
is  the mother  of  four children,  one who  is  still a  teenage                                                               
driver.   She offered  her belief that  increasing the  amount of                                                               
time before a  full license is granted "will  support safer roads                                                               
but  also  support parents  enormously."    She pointed  out  the                                                               
difficulty  of   controlling  all   aspects  of   young  drivers.                                                               
Speaking in  favor of all  [the proposed restrictions],  she said                                                               
[the restriction on] operating a  motor vehicle between the hours                                                               
of 1 and 5 a.m. will support the current curfew in Anchorage.                                                                   
MS. FLEISCHMAN  especially voiced support for  the provision that                                                               
the youngest  drivers won't have  other kids  in the car  - which                                                               
results in  an enormous distraction  - for the first  six months.                                                               
As  a teacher  for 18  years, she  sometimes watches  tenth-grade                                                               
students load five or six other kids  in the car for a fast lunch                                                               
getaway, often  in winter driving  conditions.  Noting  how scary                                                               
this is  for her,  she said the  accidents and  crashes involving                                                               
teenagers  that she's  seen in  the past  10 years  almost always                                                               
occurred  when multiple  teenagers  were in  the  car.   Although                                                               
parents  can ask  their children  not to  do this,  those parents                                                               
aren't  at  school,  and  Anchorage   has  open  campuses.    She                                                               
reiterated support  for the bill  and especially  restricting the                                                               
ability of  a young driver to  have other kids in  the car unless                                                               
it's a sibling.                                                                                                                 
Number 1290                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   STEPOVICH  asked   how  the   curfew  works   in                                                               
Anchorage, suggesting it would supersede the bill anyway.                                                                       
MS. FLEISCHMAN  agreed, but said  she believes the  bill supports                                                               
the  existing  curfew because  kids  aren't  supposed to  be  out                                                               
between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., or possibly 4 a.m.                                                                                   
Number 1320                                                                                                                     
JEFF  JESSE, Legislative  Vice  President,  State Parent  Teacher                                                               
Association  (PTA), informed  the committee  that every  year his                                                               
organization has  an "issues conference"  to which  delegates are                                                               
invited from around the state,  from among the 14,000 members, to                                                               
come and identify  their legislative priorities.   This year, one                                                               
legislative  priority is  passage of  a graduated  licensing bill                                                               
such as HB 213.   He said for many parents,  one of their biggest                                                               
concerns -  with both  their own children's  driving and  that of                                                               
other teenagers -  is lack of experience,  especially that gained                                                               
when  a  more experienced  driver  is  along, helping  the  young                                                               
driver learn  how to negotiate  the many challenges  people face,                                                               
particularly in Alaska.                                                                                                         
MR.  JESSE mentioned  that  there have  been  concerns about  the                                                               
difficulty of applying graduated  licensing in rural communities.                                                               
In PTA  debates, however, he  said one  issue has been  that many                                                               
young drivers  from rural areas  come into  Fairbanks, Anchorage,                                                               
or other  urban areas where  they drive; thus  gaining additional                                                               
experience  [before obtaining  a  license] is  perhaps even  more                                                               
important.   On behalf  of his organization  and its  members, he                                                               
urged support for HB 213.                                                                                                       
Number 1411                                                                                                                     
JANET McCABE, Chair, Partners for  Progress, testified in support                                                               
of HB 213 as follows:                                                                                                           
     Our  organization works  to  support Judge  Wanamaker's                                                                    
     wellness  court, and  deals primarily  with repeat  DUI                                                                    
     [driving  under the  influence] offenders  that are  in                                                                    
     their middle  age.  But  repeatedly we see  the tragedy                                                                    
     of  people who  did not  realize when  they were  young                                                                    
     what  a  huge  responsibility  it is  to  always  drive                                                                    
     safely and carefully.                                                                                                      
     The  excellence of  a  ...  graduated driver's  license                                                                    
     bill  is that  it is  both preventive  and educational.                                                                    
     It adds  provisions to licensing for  beginning drivers                                                                    
     that will  impress on young  drivers age 16 to  18 that                                                                    
     care and  caution must be  taken to protect  the public                                                                    
     as well as  themselves.  And, certainly, age  16 ... to                                                                    
     18  is  the  time  to  learn, and  the  time  they  are                                                                    
     impressionable.   So we think  that the bill  will have                                                                    
     benefits now  for new drivers  and for the  public, but                                                                    
     also  it will  have  benefits in  the  future for  when                                                                    
     today's drivers are older.                                                                                                 
Number 1470                                                                                                                     
CHAIR HOLM  asked how Judge  Wanamaker's wellness court  fits in.                                                               
He said there isn't anything like that in Fairbanks.                                                                            
MS.  McCABE acknowledged  the desirability  of having  a wellness                                                               
court in  Fairbanks, but  said it's  a somewhat  different issue.                                                               
She suggested  that a graduated  driver's license bill  will help                                                               
to educate  kids so that they  won't be dealt with  in Fairbanks,                                                               
for example, 20 years from now.                                                                                                 
Number 1504                                                                                                                     
KERSTIN MILLER  testified in support of  HB 213 as the  mother of                                                               
an 11-year-old  and a 13-year-old,  and as someone who  drives by                                                               
Service  High School  in  Anchorage  between 2  and  3 p.m.  many                                                               
weekdays.   Ms. Miller said  she's observed lots of  accidents on                                                               
Abbott Road  as students judge when  to enter the highway  or how                                                               
fast to  drive down  that hill  toward Lake Otis.   She  said she                                                               
looks forward  to having some  of these provisions in  place when                                                               
her children  learn to  drive; it  will help  set a  standard for                                                               
parents to  educate their children  about driving and  to provide                                                               
the experience and  time necessary for these drivers  to learn in                                                               
a  graduated,  safe  way.    She suggested  this  will  help  new                                                               
drivers, their peers, and everyone else be safe on the roads.                                                                   
Number 1556                                                                                                                     
CHRISTI  ROWINSKI,  Fairbanks   Chapter,  Mothers  Against  Drunk                                                               
Driving  (MADD),  informed  the  committee  that  today  she  was                                                               
speaking   on  behalf   of  the   four  Alaskan   MADD  chapters:                                                               
Anchorage, Mat-Su,  Fairbanks, and Juneau.   She gave  an example                                                               
of how  the requirements  for a license  have changed  over time.                                                               
Now, she  said, steps are  being proposed that have  already made                                                               
young drivers safer in 40 states.                                                                                               
MS. ROWINSKI  said vehicle-related crashes are  the leading cause                                                               
of death among 15- to  20-year-olds; 41 percent of teenage deaths                                                               
related to  motor vehicles  in 2002 occurred  between 9  p.m. and                                                               
6 [a.m.];  61  percent  of  teenage   passenger  deaths  in  2002                                                               
occurred in  crashes in  which another  teenager was  driving; 40                                                               
states   have  implemented   GDL  [graduated   driver's  license]                                                               
programs since  the mid-1990s  and studies  have found  that teen                                                               
crashes in  those states were  "reduced to 33 percent,"  with one                                                               
study finding that fatalities dropped  58 percent.  She indicated                                                               
some  of  these  statistics  were  from  the  National  [Highway]                                                               
Traffic  Safety  Administration,  but  had been  taken  from  the                                                               
Insurance Information Institute.                                                                                                
MS. ROWINSKI  said the GDL is  a rural issue too.   Anchorage has                                                               
about  four   times  as  many  15-   to  19-year-olds  (indisc.--                                                               
teleconference cutting out),  and yet the number  of teen drivers                                                               
seriously  injured in  Anchorage is  only 2.5  times that  in the                                                               
rural  areas.   She  said the  Matanuska-Susitna  Borough had  47                                                               
seriously injured teen drivers,  whereas Anchorage had 38, Juneau                                                               
had 4, and Fairbanks had 25.                                                                                                    
CHAIR  HOLM informed  Ms. Rowinski  that the  committee was  only                                                               
hearing a portion of the testimony.                                                                                             
MS. ROWINSKI  went on  to say that  deaths in  passenger vehicles                                                               
per  100,000  people  in  2002 [as  reported  in  an  unspecified                                                               
document] showed  that the 20-year-old  group had three  times as                                                               
many male  drivers killed  as is  the "general  population hazard                                                               
... of being killed."  She said  the GDL has proven to save money                                                               
because there  are fewer car  crashes and fewer violations  to be                                                               
dealt with by cities and  the state.  Furthermore, applicants pay                                                               
for the  second level of  driver's permits.   She said  all other                                                               
states have shown that GDL programs don't cost money.                                                                           
Number 1870                                                                                                                     
MS.  ROWINSKI,  in response  to  a  question from  Representative                                                               
Kookesh, said that  in the broadest terms, more  young drivers in                                                               
rural  areas are  seriously injured  than  in urban  areas.   The                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna Borough had 47  seriously injured teen drivers,                                                               
whereas  Anchorage had  38; she  said she  didn't know  what year                                                               
that was.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH questioned  the  characterization of  the                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna area as  rural.  He asked  whether Ms. Rowinski                                                               
had any numbers for areas such as Aniak.                                                                                        
MS. ROWINSKI  replied that she  didn't, but would try  to provide                                                               
those numbers.                                                                                                                  
Number 1933                                                                                                                     
CHAIR HOLM recalled that there was  a zero fiscal note last year,                                                               
whereas now  the fiscal  note shows a  revenue gain  of $102,000.                                                               
He asked Mr. Bannock about it.                                                                                                  
Number 1950                                                                                                                     
DUANE  BANNOCK,  Director,  Division  of  Motor  Vehicles  (DMV),                                                               
Department   of  Administration,   responded  affirmatively   and                                                               
     With passage of this, we  are proposing to actually tag                                                                    
     the physical  driver's license with a  restriction, and                                                                    
     the  restriction  would  clearly identify  the  license                                                                    
     holder as being a provisional  driver's license.  It is                                                                    
     our mathematical  formulation that a certain  number of                                                                    
     people  will  want  to have  that  removed  from  their                                                                    
     license.  As a result,  financially it would be treated                                                                    
     like a duplicate license, so  that what you see on that                                                                    
     fiscal note,  sir, is both  the cost that  the driver's                                                                    
     license  holder would  pay to  get ...  his or  her new                                                                    
     license  and the  associated cost  to  the division  to                                                                    
     produce that license.                                                                                                      
CHAIR HOLM  asked whether Mr.  Bannock was saying [in  the fiscal                                                               
note analysis] that it only costs  $2 per license to produce, and                                                               
that DMV will charge $15 for it.                                                                                                
MR. BANNOCK said that's exactly correct.                                                                                        
Number 1990                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   KOOKESH  asked   how   Mr.   Bannock  sees   the                                                               
provisional license  working in  rural areas  of Alaska  where an                                                               
off-road-system license is allowed.                                                                                             
MR. BANNOCK  deferred to  Kerry Hennings,  the manager  of Driver                                                               
Number 2020                                                                                                                     
KERRY HENNINGS, Driver Licensing,  Director's Office, Division of                                                               
Motor Vehicles, Department of Administration, answered:                                                                         
     The off-systems  licenses, as we  call them,  where ...                                                                    
     they're  not required  to take  a road  test, would  be                                                                    
     handled exactly  the same  way:   a restriction  to the                                                                    
     license, a  restriction that after six  months could be                                                                    
     removed if  they drive citation-free.   It  would still                                                                    
     be under the same  standards ... regarding time limits,                                                                    
     passengers, the work restrictions after 1 a.m.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH questioned whether  that was the sponsor's                                                               
intent or whether  he'd even had time to  discuss the off-systems                                                               
license  with  [DMV]  or  some of  the  [legislators  from  rural                                                               
areas].   He  said he  thinks there  are two  different questions                                                               
that require different answers.                                                                                                 
MS. HENNINGS clarified that for  an off-systems license, the only                                                               
difference is that the person hasn't taken a "road examination."                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH concurred.    He said  he believed  there                                                               
could  be a  differential between  an off-systems  license and  a                                                               
provision  license, however,  and that  it could  be a  different                                                               
step.   He requested that  Representative Weyhrauch  address this                                                               
at some point.                                                                                                                  
Number 2100                                                                                                                     
KAREN  LAWFER,   Health  Program  Manager,  Community   Health  &                                                               
Emergency   Medical   Services,   Division  of   Public   Health,                                                               
Department of  Health and Social Services,  informed members that                                                               
she's  the  mother  of  an  18-year-old  son  and  a  14-year-old                                                               
daughter who has  had a learner's permit for one  week.  She said                                                               
all  three parts  of  HB 213  carry almost  equal  weight.   They                                                               
address  the high-risk  areas that  teens experience.   First  is                                                               
lack of experience.   Second is driving at night;  with regard to                                                               
that, she quoted  a police officer as having  said, "Nothing good                                                               
happens  from midnight  till  5  in the  morning  with regard  to                                                               
teenagers."   And third  is distractions from  other kids  in the                                                               
car;  she suggested  this  could even  go as  far  as not  having                                                               
radios,  compact   disk  (CD)  players,   or  cell   phones,  but                                                               
emphasized the  need to keep  other kids out  of the car  so that                                                               
young   drivers  can   concentrate  on   driving.     Ms.  Lawfer                                                               
highlighted the  importance of  addressing these  three high-risk                                                               
areas equally, which she said the bill does.                                                                                    
Number 2160                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH   asked  about  the   statistics  cited                                                               
earlier that there were only four [serious injuries] in Juneau.                                                                 
MS. LAWFER  said that's  four serious and  fatal ones,  not other                                                               
crashes where kids weren't hospitalized.                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH said  he wonders  what Juneau  is doing                                                               
differently from Fairbanks and Anchorage now.                                                                                   
AN  UNIDENTIFIED   MEMBER  noted  that  this   bill  talks  about                                                               
parenting all the way.                                                                                                          
MS. LAWFER told  members that to her, as a  parent of an 18-year-                                                               
old  who has  been driving  for two  years, the  reassuring thing                                                               
about the bill is that teen  drivers will all be getting the same                                                               
amount of experience  before they can go on.   She noted that her                                                               
insurance  company, State  Farm  Insurance Company,  has its  own                                                               
system  that parents  can  use, after  which  the insurance  rate                                                               
drops by 15 percent.                                                                                                            
Number 2232                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG expressed  concern  about  fishing areas  and                                                               
"frontier" areas  of the  state.   He asked if  there has  been a                                                               
problem involving kids who work and drive between 1 and 5 a.m.                                                                  
MS. LAWFER indicated statistics show  kids are at risk if they've                                                               
been  working late  and  get behind  the  wheel of  a  car.   She                                                               
mentioned kids who get off the  ferry after traveling at night to                                                               
a ballgame, for example, and said  they're at risk and are a risk                                                               
to  other drivers  on the  road.   She highlighted  the need  for                                                               
concern,  just as  people are  concerned about  watching out  for                                                               
drunk drivers  and so forth.   As a  parent, Ms. Lawfer  said she                                                               
would be picking those kids up  [at the ferry terminal] to ensure                                                               
that  they  arrive home  safely.    She mentioned  the  learner's                                                               
permit period, which gives kids  quite a few hours of experience,                                                               
and referred to the fact that  the bill requires six months for a                                                               
provisional  license that  restricts  driving  during the  [late]                                                               
evening.  She continued:                                                                                                        
     Six  months  is   not  a  long  time,   and  death  and                                                                    
     disability is. ... As a  person that needs to weigh the                                                                    
     two sides to  the coin, I think that's  probably a real                                                                    
     personal choice,  that you would have  to probably look                                                                    
     at petitioning  to DMV  or somebody,  just like  if you                                                                    
     have  somebody  that's  going  to  work  early  in  the                                                                    
     morning. ... I understand the  concern of that.  I also                                                                    
     understand the concern of "they are at risk."                                                                              
Number 2321                                                                                                                     
CHAIR HOLM suggested that both  he and Representative Kookesh are                                                               
concerned about the one-size-fits-all  approach.  Alaska has huge                                                               
differences among  its people, he  said, citing the fact  that he                                                               
grew up  on a homestead  and learned to  drive a tractor.   Chair                                                               
Holm  highlighted the  assumption that  parents are  good drivers                                                               
and therefore  can teach their  children to be good  drivers, but                                                               
said  parents  who   are  bad  drivers  will   teach  their  kids                                                               
accordingly.  Just because someone happens  to be 21 years old or                                                               
a  parent, it  doesn't make  him  or her  a good  role model  for                                                               
driving.    He  noted  the  difficulty of  making  a  policy  for                                                               
everyone in Alaska.                                                                                                             
TAPE 04-2, SIDE B                                                                                                             
Number 2360                                                                                                                     
MS. LAWFER replied:                                                                                                             
     I think  when you look  at ...  the risk areas  and you                                                                    
     look  at the  amount of  time -  50 hours,  10 of  them                                                                    
     being, at  least, night hours  - that does ...  cover a                                                                    
     broad period  of time,  as far  as that.   I  know it's                                                                    
     very hard to make an  umbrella when you're dealing with                                                                    
     that.   I learned to drive  on a tractor when  I was 13                                                                    
     [years] old ...  in Illinois. ... It  does equalize the                                                                    
     risk  factors,  and it  does  mitigate  and bring  them                                                                    
     down, as far as some of the risk factors.                                                                                  
     It's  not going  to  fit everybody,  but  ... you  have                                                                    
     people that  are not good  drivers as adults,  and they                                                                    
     lose their  license.  Now,  are they going  to continue                                                                    
     to drive?   Yes,  they probably will.   But  then there                                                                    
     are laws that  say, ... "You've lost  your license; you                                                                    
     cannot drive."  So, to try  and equalize it and make it                                                                    
     an umbrella for everybody, it  does deal with those ...                                                                    
     three biggest risk areas; it  doesn't deal with all the                                                                    
Number 2297                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER  acknowledged that  her question  might be                                                               
better asked of  the sponsor, but expressed  concern about places                                                               
like Barrow  and how defining  "nighttime" as the  period between                                                               
sunset and sunrise will affect  teenagers during times when there                                                               
is  no  sunrise [because  of  the  endless  day or  night  during                                                               
certain times of the year].                                                                                                     
MS. LAWFER deferred to the sponsor.                                                                                             
CHAIR HOLM called upon Mr.  Winters, reminding him that there had                                                               
been  a question  as to  whether the  graduated driver's  license                                                               
would result in lower insurance rates.                                                                                          
Number 2259                                                                                                                     
SHELDON  E.  WINTERS,  Attorney  at  Law,  Lessmeier  &  Winters,                                                               
Lobbyist  for  State  Farm   Insurance  Company  ("State  Farm"),                                                               
replied that  he didn't have  specific information on  the effect                                                               
the bill would have on insurance  rates, but would ask State Farm                                                               
or the  industry if there  are reports  or statistics; if  so, he                                                               
would provide them.   Turning to his testimony,  Mr. Winters told                                                               
members he'd simply been asked to  show up and voice State Farm's                                                               
strong support for  this bill, which supports safety  issues.  He                                                               
referred  to earlier  testimony  about a  program implemented  by                                                               
State Farm, and he indicated  State Farm's reasons for supporting                                                               
the bill had  been articulated by others.  Mr.  Winters closed by                                                               
saying although  the bill may  have a positive effect  of perhaps                                                               
lowering  insurance  rates,  it   isn't  about  insurance  rates;                                                               
rather,  it's about  lives and  safety.   He encouraged  members'                                                               
Number 2199                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH   surmised  that  if  this   bill  goes                                                               
through,  however, parents  and their  kids who  adhere to  these                                                               
laws  will expect  lower insurance  rates.   He  said he'd  hoped                                                               
Mr. Winters would say yes, the  rates would be lower, which would                                                               
provide further incentive.                                                                                                      
MR.  WINTERS reiterated  that he'll  try  to provide  statistics,                                                               
which hopefully will be positive.                                                                                               
Number 2170                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  asked  whether   Mr.  Winters  could  obtain                                                               
statistics  showing the  difference in  this age  group's driving                                                               
while employed versus not employed.                                                                                             
MR.  WINTERS said  he'd ask,  but cautioned  against counting  on                                                               
getting those specific statistics.                                                                                              
Number 2116                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH  addressed  the sponsor.    He  mentioned                                                               
rural areas  of the  state that  are considered  roadless, citing                                                               
Angoon as an example.   He said a teenager who  is in high school                                                               
now can go  to the local police department, which  has forms from                                                               
the state;  the police  gives an off-road-system  test that  is a                                                               
written exam; it's sent to Juneau,  where it's graded; and if the                                                               
person passes, he or she receives an off-road-system license.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH  expressed  concern that  the  bill  will                                                               
eliminate that  provision.  He said  if a person has  to take the                                                               
written and  driving test from  the DMV, [teens] in  rural Alaska                                                               
won't be able to have  an off-road-system license anymore because                                                               
of lack  of access to a  car or to  [DMV] staff in order  to take                                                               
the  test;  there  aren't even  Village  Public  Safety  Officers                                                               
(VPSOs) in  127 rural  communities to  [administer] such  a test.                                                               
He  emphasized the  need to  retain this  off-road-system permit,                                                               
and suggested perhaps  it could be "another class  of what you're                                                               
trying to do."   He said he  wants to support this  bill, but not                                                               
to the  point of having  the kids  in the villages  he represents                                                               
lose out.                                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH deferred to Mr. Bannock.                                                                               
Number 2036                                                                                                                     
MR. BANNOCK replied:                                                                                                            
     Representative  Kookesh raises  a very  good and  valid                                                                    
     point.   And  perhaps I  didn't fully  explain how  the                                                                    
     implementation  of  this  will work.    The  off-system                                                                    
     license that he spoke of is  going to continue.  It's a                                                                    
     system  that works  very  well for  us  in Alaska,  and                                                                    
     we're not  intending to  eliminate that  or in  any way                                                                    
         allow this bill to change the way our testing                                                                          
     procedures take place.                                                                                                     
     What it will  do, however, is add a  restriction to the                                                                    
     license.    So whether  the  license  is a  traditional                                                                    
     license  like  many  of  us  have  or  [an]  off-system                                                                    
     license  such as  the one  that the  Representative has                                                                    
     spoken to,  ... with the  passage of this bill  it will                                                                    
     simply be a restriction on the off-system license.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  asked whether that restriction  is just                                                               
for the "graduated driver's license  portion for the ages between                                                               
16 and 18."                                                                                                                     
MR. BANNOCK said yes.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH  said  a provision  under  AS 28.15.051                                                               
that this  bill doesn't  modify says the  department may  issue a                                                               
special driver's license to a person  under the age of 16 because                                                               
of circumstances of  a hardship.  He  requested confirmation that                                                               
the bill doesn't change that at all.                                                                                            
MR.  BANNOCK said  that's  correct.   The  hardship licenses  are                                                               
graded on their  own merit.  He offered his  opinion, if the bill                                                               
passes, that if a person  gives a compelling reason and qualifies                                                               
for a hardship [permit], it could conceivably "trump" this.                                                                     
Number 1955                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  announced that he would  follow up with                                                               
Representative Kookesh, specifically, as well as Mr. Bannock.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH asked  that he also look at  page 2, where                                                               
it  has both  age 21  and age 25.   He  asked why  it isn't  more                                                               
consistent,  since anyone  over the  age of  21 is  considered an                                                               
adult, and suggested that it be age 21 in both places.                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE   WEYHRAUCH  noted   that  it's   in  Section   3,                                                               
subsections (b)(1) and [(b)(2)(A)].                                                                                             
Number 1901                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KAPSNER returned  to her  earlier question  about                                                               
defining "nighttime"  as the period  between sunset  and sunrise.                                                               
She suggested this theoretically could  pose a hardship if a law-                                                               
abiding  parent in  Barrow wanted  to go  strictly by  the rules.                                                               
The  sun  doesn't set  in  the  summer  there; it  would  require                                                               
waiting for 10 hours of winter in  order to sign off on the young                                                               
person's 10  hours of nighttime  driving, for example.   She then                                                               
surmised that parents could work around it.                                                                                     
Number 1832                                                                                                                     
CHAIR HOLM  requested confirmation  of his understanding  that if                                                               
someone who lived in the  Bush had the off-road driver's license,                                                               
it wouldn't be  recognized in Anchorage, for  example, until that                                                               
person passed the GDL requirements.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH asked how the state does it.                                                                           
MR. BANNOCK explained:                                                                                                          
     When  we   issue  an   off-system  license,   ...  that                                                                    
     particular license will be good  in a limited number of                                                                    
     areas that we  recognize as being off-system.   Just to                                                                    
     use a  practical example,  if a  young person  had been                                                                    
     issued  an off-system  license and  then  they flew  to                                                                    
     Anchorage  and  rented  a  car,  that  would  create  a                                                                    
     problem  because  that  license wouldn't  be  valid  in                                                                    
     Anchorage, Alaska.   That policy,  though, I  must say,                                                                    
     doesn't have anything to do  with this bill in front of                                                                    
     us today.                                                                                                                  
Number 1772                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  asked whether there is  any stipulation                                                               
for  the driver's  education program.   He  recalled that  it was                                                               
mandatory when he  went to high school, but said  he doesn't know                                                               
whether it still is.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE KAPSNER said it depends on the school district.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE KOOKESH  remarked, "It  used to  be good  until we                                                               
cut all  the money  from the school  systems; then  they couldn't                                                               
afford those driver's programs anymore."                                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH asked  whether  the driver's  education                                                               
program has any effect on licensing right now.                                                                                  
MR. BANNOCK  responded that currently  DMV doesn't  recognize any                                                               
"curricular or  extracurricular school activity-type  of classes"                                                               
for its licensing rules or tests.                                                                                               
Number 1715                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH said  he  wanted to  see  how it  would                                                               
correlate if a student took  driver's education and also complied                                                               
with all of [the provisions in the bill].                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH related  his  understanding and  intent                                                               
that  if a  student takes  a  driver's education  course or  some                                                               
certified training  program, then  a parent can  incorporate that                                                               
as  part  of the  certification  that  the student  has  driver's                                                               
experience.  He  pointed out that in some  instances, parents may                                                               
not  be   able  to   drive  and  will   have  to   delegate  that                                                               
responsibility to somebody who is trained.                                                                                      
Number 1678                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  noted that  there  had  been discussion  the                                                               
previous year  about "the midnight  or 11 o'clock to  5 o'clock";                                                               
he expressed  appreciation to  the sponsor  for changing  that to                                                               
something that "helps folks out to continue what they're doing."                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   OGG  referred   to   [page   2],  lines   17-28,                                                               
subparagraph (B),  which read, "driving  to or from  the person's                                                               
place  of employment  and the  driving is  along the  most direct                                                               
available route."  He pointed out  that it doesn't allow a person                                                               
to drive while  working.  He offered a  hypothetical example from                                                               
his own region,  a family with a setnet site  that needs supplies                                                               
and sends a youth  on a ferry that boards at  3 a.m., because the                                                               
permit holder must remain at  the location fishing.  He expressed                                                               
concern  that the  youth wouldn't  be  able to  board that  ferry                                                               
[with a motor vehicle], which might hamper the business.                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH explained the intent as follows:                                                                       
     They're under employment, and  part of their employment                                                                    
     is to go to  the ferry ..., and so that  is part of the                                                                    
     location  of  employment,   particularly  for  Alaska's                                                                    
     purposes; you  cannot read  this in a  vacuum ....   So                                                                    
     the place of employment  could certainly include places                                                                    
     where that  kid would have  to be employed to  do their                                                                    
     job, which means  (indisc.) the ferry. ...  I think the                                                                    
     operative phrase in the law  is "on course," or ... you                                                                    
     take a junket away:  you  take ... a 20-block detour to                                                                    
     see a friend, that's not to a place of employment. ...                                                                     
     Going to  and from  a place  of employment  is wherever                                                                    
     that  employment will  lead you  ... in  the reasonable                                                                    
     course  and circumstances  of one's  job.   And  that's                                                                    
     certainly the intent.                                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG suggested  the  language is  a bit  ambiguous                                                               
with regard to driving while employed.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  reiterated that his intent  is "to have                                                               
it where they're employed, ... to do their work."                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  OGG  proposed  clarifying language  such  as  the                                                               
following:  "driving pursuant to a person's employment".                                                                        
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH suggested  "scope of employment", saying                                                               
he has heard it used elsewhere.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  HOLM asked  Representative Weyhrauch  to have  Legislative                                                               
Legal and Research Services look at it to make sure it works.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH agreed to that.                                                                                        
Number 1529                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH referred  to page  1, lines  11-12, which                                                               
talks about  "proof satisfactory  to the  department".   He asked                                                               
whether "proof satisfactory" is a legal term defined anywhere.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  replied that  he thinks  it is  a legal                                                               
term when it's used in a statute, and added:                                                                                    
     I  think  "proof  satisfactory"  means  something  that                                                                    
     someone delegated with the  task of determining whether                                                                    
     the  proof is  satisfactory or  not. ...  It's somewhat                                                                    
     ambiguous.  If they come in  and they say, "My mom said                                                                    
     I've  satisfied  the  requirement,"  that  may  not  be                                                                    
     satisfactory.   If they  come in with  a note  ..., "My                                                                    
     son  [has  satisfied]  50  hours  of  driving,"  signed                                                                    
     "Mom",  [with the]  date, ...  that probably  should be                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH  said  he'd  like  to  at  least  have  a                                                               
definition   someplace   that    says   what   satisfies   "proof                                                               
satisfactory", which is broad.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  suggested perhaps  Mr. Bannock  has had                                                               
some experience in this area.                                                                                                   
Number 1466                                                                                                                     
MR. BANNOCK explained how DMV would handle it:                                                                                  
     What  we would  employ here  for that  is an  affidavit                                                                    
     section   on   the    driver's   license   application.                                                                    
     Currently,  ... that  is  being  utilized for  parental                                                                    
     consent,  which  is  required   before  issuance  of  a                                                                    
     driver's   license   today;   we   simply   intend   to                                                                    
     incorporate that  into the deal.   In absence,  we will                                                                    
     also take  ... a  notarized affidavit from  the parent,                                                                    
     the  legal guardian,  or the  employer to  satisfy this                                                                    
     very important requirement.                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM asked if that's  for when [the parent, legal guardian,                                                               
or employer] isn't present in person.                                                                                           
MR. BANNOCK said that's correct.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH  asked  why  the bill  doesn't  just  say                                                               
"signed and notarized affidavit".                                                                                               
MR. BANNOCK  responded, "I  guess -  as opposed  to having  it in                                                               
statute that  it's [a signed]  affidavit - the majority  of these                                                               
will  be  incorporated  through the  parental-consent  signature,                                                               
which is not, by definition, an affidavit."                                                                                     
CHAIR  HOLM expressed  confusion about  Mr. Bannock's  reply, but                                                               
asked whether that satisfied the concern.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  KOOKESH indicated  it  was fine  as  long as  the                                                               
intent was clear.                                                                                                               
Number 1388                                                                                                                     
MR.  BANNOCK,  in  response   to  questions  from  Representative                                                               
Stepovich and  Chair Holm, clarified,  "The affidavit  would come                                                               
into play  if the parent was  not there to sign  for the parental                                                               
consent, which we require before  issuing the license, or perhaps                                                               
it came  after the  fact ...  or when the  person was  taking the                                                               
restriction off; that's when we would accept the affidavit."                                                                    
Number 1360                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  STEPOVICH  asked,  besides the  details,  whether                                                               
anyone is against this legislation.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH answered that  concerns expressed to him                                                               
were along  the lines  of the  following:   kids' not  wanting an                                                               
adult  "driving them  around";  impacts to  rural  Alaska; and  a                                                               
mother's  wanting her  teenager to  drive himself  or herself  to                                                               
school  because  she's  too  busy  being  a  single  mother,  for                                                               
example, which may be a hardship exception.                                                                                     
CHAIR  HOLM asked  Representative  Weyhrauch whether  there is  a                                                               
hardship exception envisioned with this.                                                                                        
AN UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER said it's already in the law.                                                                            
Number 1298                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE   KAPSNER   returned    attention   to   notarized                                                               
affidavits, saying she  didn't know how comfortable  she was with                                                               
asking parents  to do that  or, if a  young person had  a not-so-                                                               
involved  parent, having  that person  go through  the additional                                                               
steps of having the parent find  a notary.  In small communities,                                                               
the only notary  may be the postmaster, and some  don't even have                                                               
a postmaster.  She voiced concern about adding more burdens.                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  WEYHRAUCH  asked   about  the  existing  practice                                                               
involving an affidavit.                                                                                                         
MR.  BANNOCK  explained  that  mail-in  off-system  licenses  are                                                               
currently  required  to  be  notarized  or  witnessed  by  a  DMV                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH  asked whether that applies  to everyone                                                               
in Alaska who has an off-road permit or special exemption.                                                                      
MR. BANNOCK said yes.                                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH suggested this wouldn't be new, then.                                                                  
MR. BANNOCK said that provision of it wouldn't be new.                                                                          
Number 1229                                                                                                                     
MR.   BANNOCK,  in   reply  to   questions  from   Representative                                                               
Stepovich, said  [DMV] has  compiled statistics  on how  many 16-                                                               
and 17-year-olds use  licenses that would fall  under this [bill]                                                               
today; it was determined that  roughly 50 percent would return to                                                               
the  DMV and  have this  particular restriction  taken off  their                                                               
licenses.  He  said he didn't have the percentage  broken down as                                                               
to "affidavits versus parents."                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE STEPOVICH  remarked that if parents  don't want to                                                               
pay  $25 for  the notary,  for example,  it sounds  as if  they'd                                                               
better show up.                                                                                                                 
MR.  BANNOCK  pointed  out that  current  practice,  without  the                                                               
provisional  driver's licensing  system,  is that  those are  the                                                               
options available upon issuance.                                                                                                
CHAIR HOLM called  upon a further testifier, noting that  he is a                                                               
former Representative.                                                                                                          
Number 1100                                                                                                                     
MIKE BRADNER, a parent and foster parent, told members:                                                                         
     Looking  at   this  bill,  it's  about   kids'  gaining                                                                    
     experience  in driving  so  they  become good  drivers.                                                                    
     But kids who  are assigned to you  under DFYS [Division                                                                    
     of Family  and Youth Services]  may not get  a driver's                                                                    
     permit  or hold  a driver's  license.   And so  there's                                                                    
     little opportunity, if you  have long-term foster kids,                                                                    
     for these children to have  opportunity to learn how to                                                                    
     drive.    And I  understand  that  there's very  likely                                                                    
     valid reasons -  the state being a "deep  pocket" - why                                                                    
     they may not  have a full driver's license.   But these                                                                    
     kids do  need the  opportunity to  learn how  to drive,                                                                    
     and it causes you some  concern when you see these kids                                                                    
     approaching 18 and they're  going to become emancipated                                                                    
     and they're not going to know how to drive.                                                                                
     And I recently was  apprised that they're now beginning                                                                    
     to provide  transitional money for some  of these kids,                                                                    
     to give them some services  as they make the transition                                                                    
     to  emancipation.    And the  federal  government  does                                                                    
     permit that  some of this  money could be  expended for                                                                    
     driver's training.   But,  of course, a  kid has  to be                                                                    
     able to hold a permit.                                                                                                     
MR. BRADNER  acknowledged impacts on a  foster parent's insurance                                                               
rates if  a youngster  drives with a  full license,  for example.                                                               
He  said, however,  that the  fundamental issue  is this:   These                                                               
kids  need  to  learn how  to  drive.    He  added that  this  is                                                               
something he'll  talk to the  House Health, Education  and Social                                                               
Services  Standing  Committee  about,  since  this  [restriction]                                                               
comes from the  Department of Health and  Social Services, rather                                                               
than being imposed by DMV.                                                                                                      
Number 0996                                                                                                                     
CHAIR HOLM  asked whether Mr.  Bradner had any  proposed language                                                               
that would make it better at this point.                                                                                        
MR. BRADNER said  he didn't think so, and surmised  that it would                                                               
have  to come  from separate  legislation.   He said  the central                                                               
issue is  getting training  and experience  in driving  for kids.                                                               
He suggested perhaps  having foster kids has given him  a view of                                                               
how   people  function   who   aren't   necessarily  within   the                                                               
demographics   of   those   who  usually   testify   before   the                                                               
legislature.  Mentioning single moms  and people who may have one                                                               
car  of "limited  ability," he  remarked that  these parents  are                                                               
reluctant to  give their  kids driver's  training because  of not                                                               
wanting to  put the car  at risk, perhaps,  or not being  able to                                                               
afford the additional insurance.                                                                                                
MR. BRADNER said the simplest advice  to parents is to enroll the                                                               
teens in driver's training and pay  the $600 for the classes, put                                                               
them behind  the wheel with the  parent, and them let  them drive                                                               
repeatedly; too often, however,  the opposite happens, especially                                                               
in this  group of  parents who  are reluctant  to let  their kids                                                               
drive [or who  may not have the money].   He voiced concern about                                                               
the "DFYS kids" and the impacts he sees on the children.                                                                        
CHAIR  HOLM  noted  that  his   father  had  served  with  [then-                                                               
Representative] Bradner and thanked him for his service.                                                                        
Number 0855                                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE WEYHRAUCH,  in response  to Chair  Holm, indicated                                                               
he would bring back a new proposed CS.  [HB 213 was held over.]                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects