‘Student driver’ magnet may be required in W.Va.

‘Student driver’ may be required in W.Va.
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:42 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Learning to drive is a rite of passage with plenty of risks -- danger, one lawmaker says could be avoided by requiring a yellow magnet for student drivers.

“It’s safer for that driver because it puts a bubble around them, because every driver around them can see it,” said West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair. “Nobody’s going to be blowing the horns and freaking them out, while they’re learning to drive because they just made a minor mistake.”

Blair, R-Berkeley, previewed the idea this week in a conversation with WSAZ NewsChannel 3.

Exact details are not yet available, but Blair said the Senate will introduce legislation to make the yellow, “student driver” magnets a requirement on the teenage driver’s personal vehicle. He said he required it for his daughter, and he recalled her frustration.

“She absolutely hated it, and she will tell you now -- knock on wood -- she has not been in an accident and it’s been 11 years,” he said.

Similar laws exist elsewhere.

In New Jersey, teenage drivers are required to have a decal on their vehicle.

In Ohio, teenagers are to receive a “student driver” sticker or banner from the state, but the law carries no requirement to place it on one’s vehicle.

Amy Neal, a driver education teacher at Cabell Midland High School, praised the concept. She has been teaching new drivers for 35 years.

“It’s not a good idea,” she said. “It’s a phenomenal idea. It’s great because that way you’ll give your other drivers, who have more experience, they may have a little more patience now and a little more kindness toward the new driver.”

Not only could a magnet like this save lives, but Blair believes it could also reduce insurance costs in West Virginia.

“That is just a simple, teeny, tiny idea that’s out there that makes up the legislative process,” he said. “There are thousands of those. My goal is to get as many of those across the finish line and make West Virginia a better place to work, live and raise their family.”

The student driver proposal and many others will be up for consideration when lawmakers convene for West Virginia’s 60-day, regular session. It begins Jan. 11.