Dave & Dujanovic: Should parents OK their child’s driver’s license?

May 11, 2020, 6:00 PM
parents driver's license...
Images of gold stars on driver's licenses, (Photo credit TSA)
(Photo credit TSA)

SALT LAKE CITY — Since 16-year-olds are unable to be certified by a driving instructor due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Utah state senator is proposing allowing parents to give the green light for their kids to obtain a drivers license. 

Teens in Georgia can now earn their driver’s license without having to take the required road test, which has been waived by the state government during the pandemic. 

Georgia teens, between 16 and 18 who have a learner’s permit, can be awarded a driver’s license if there are no violations and by completing 40 hours of driver training by either an instructor or a parent, according to CBS News

Republican state Sen. Dan McCay of Riverton is floating the idea of letting parents pass/fail their kids on the state driving test.

However, is this a good idea?

Let’s ask a professional

Driver’s education instructor and Davis High School, coach Ben Horne, joined Debbie Dujanovic and Dave Noriega to give his take on the topic.

“Do you think it’s a bad idea to have parents certify kids with the pandemic going on?” Debbie asked.

“I absolutely don’t think that’s a good idea,” Horne stated firmly.

Teens younger than 18 have to complete 40 hours of driving, 10 at nights, certified by a parent or guardian, according to Utah law.

“For the things we [driving instructors] look for, the maneuvers, the instructions, the experience that we can give to them, I just don’t see — even though they have their 40 hours — they [parents] don’t know what they need to be testing them on.

“We all love our kids. There’s no question about it, but there’s got to be some bias in there,” Horne said.  “We try to go non-bias as we’re testing these kids.”

“Our goal is to get them their license,” he said. “I am not sold on letting a parent trying to test their own child.”

“I have kids that will run stop signs, and again, the bias that we have with our kids… ‘Oh, honey, that was a four-way [stop] so it’s really not as dangerous as a two-way.

“I hate failing kids. But when they run a stop sign, it’s pretty cut and dry. They understand that ‘Hey, I can’t be running these because in real life I could be killed,'” Horne said.

He said allowing parents to certify their teenage drivers is “opening a can of worms.”

“What’s the toughest thing for kids to learn behind the wheel?” Debbie asked.

Parallel parking, he said, because it involves so many maneuvers: signaling, angling the vehicle backward without hitting another object, checking for traffic approaching from the rear while backing up, etc.

Dave pointed out that newly licensed teen drivers are still terrible because they need experience behind the wheel.

“There’s a temptation to get our kids out there because they’re driving us nuts,” Dave said. “This is not where we start making their lives easier, not when it comes to our safety.”


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play


Hatch courthouse...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Utah’s longest serving senator, Orrin Hatch, dies at 88

Orrin Hatch, Utah's longest serving senator, has died at age 88.
26 days ago
Pictured here are items seized from one of four drug busts authorities in Carbon County conducted o...
Mark Jones

Carbon County authorities make significant drug busts

Authorities in Carbon County, with a search warrant, have conducted four drug busts over the past three weeks.
27 days ago
Mark Jones

Soap box derby set for Saturday in Daybreak

Daybreak will host the second annual Soap Box Derby on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
27 days ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
27 days ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
27 days ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Dave & Dujanovic: Should parents OK their child’s driver’s license?