Friday, May 27, 2022

Mother Advocates for Mandated Statewide Parent, Student Driver Education Class

Tammy Gweedo McGee is advocating for a statewide mandated parent/student driver education class. (WYDaily file/ Courtesy of Tammy McGee)

YORK COUNTY — A local mother is closer to getting a law passed that would require all Virginia parents to be involved in their child’s student driver education class.

In October 2019, Tammy Gweedo McGee’s 16-year-old son Conner Guido was one of three Tabb High School teenagers who died in a car accident that shook the community.

Since her son’s death, McGee has been active in educating young drivers and their parents about the dangers of distracted driving.

In March 2021, a bill named after her son, “Conner’s Law,” was passed. This new law mandates that all Virginia high schools require a valid driver’s license in order for students to have a parking pass/permit. 

Additionally, Virginia Code 22.1-205.1 was amended to so that high school driver’s education programs includes instructions on the dangers of distracted driving and speeding.

While Conner’s Law was created in response to Conner’s tragic death, McGee said that she wanted to continue to advocate for a cause that would impact everyone.

On Jan. 5, Virginia Senate Bill (SB) 78 was introduced, which would require the Virginia Board of Education to include the requirement for an additional minimum 90-minute parent/student driver education component in its driver education programs for all public school divisions.Tam

Currently, Virginia Code 22.1-205 includes a 90 minute parent/student driver education component. However, it only applies to one district in Northern Virginia.

“I found out about this law and it just didn’t make any sense to me why it’s only for one district,” McGee said.

Virginia Senator Tommy Norment is carrying SB78, which amends Virginia Code 22.1-205 to make the parent/student component mandatory statewide.

“Making sure that parents are educated in the rules for teenage driving is just as crucial as the teenagers getting their education because the parent and the teenager should be working together in their education for safe driving,” McGee said.

The Bill is currently pending under the Senate Education and Health Committee.

McGee is currently rallying and encouraging others to sign on in support of SB78.

“You know, I think we can all agree that investing 90 minutes of your time in your child’s education is a small price to pay in an effort to help keep your child and others safe,” she said.

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