NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It could soon become easier to get a driver’s license in New York State.
A bill that would loosen requirements is headed to Gov. Cuomo’s desk, but some drivers argue it would make the roads a lot more dangerous.
Nobody wants to get stuck behind a student driver, but soon they may be able to take a shortcut to a license.
“What’s gonna happen is you’ll have more drivers who shouldn’t be on the road,” Simon Miyerov, the president of Drive Rite Academy president said.
State law requires all student drivers take at least a five-hour classroom course approved by the DMV.
A new bill – that’s recently passed both the state senate and assembly – would allow students to take that course online.
“I have a 17-year-old son who just took the class and is learning how to drive now,” Josh Carter said.
“As long as you pass the test that’s the key right?”
“I think the interaction is necessary because they can answer ideas on the spot you wouldn’t think of at the moment,” John Burke argued.
State assemblyman David Buchwald claims the change would modernize the DMV.
“It’s the same material. The same time period, but it’s a much more convenient offering for users,” the assemblyman said.
“I can ask them questions, I can challenge them if they’re quiet in the classroom,” driving instructor Jim Vackner told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
“To be part of the discussion we’re having they won’t get that online.”
Drive Rite Academy in Brooklyn is one of at least a dozen local driving schools fighting the bill.
“When you do it online for all we know it could be someone else taking the test for them,” Vackner warned.
Currently in New York State, if you’re under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit you are required to have 50 hours of driving practice before taking the road test.
If you’re over the age of 18, you aren’t required to have any hours of practice.
“This is the only mandated course in New York State so if we don’t even have this… it could be a dangerous factor we have to measure up to,” Miyerov said.
If Gov. Cuomo signs the bill into law, the five-year pilot program would go into effect next summer.
CBS2 reached out to the governor’s office for comment but did not receive a response.