Interpretation's Date: March 13, 2001
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: IV. Students
March 13, 2001
Bill Powers, Chairman
Dear Mr. Powers:
By letter dated March 1, 2001 addressed to Mr. David Porterfield, Coordinator for Driver Education, you indicated "that there is a student enrolled in driver education that received a speeding ticket (97 mph) that resulted in his driver's license being suspended until he is eighteen. The speeding incident occurred first semester but his license was not suspended until the second semester class had started." And you asked the questions which follow.
Since these questions were ones which could be helpful to other driver education programs in the state, I felt it important to respond to you directly with this superintendent interpretation. Specifically, you asked:
1. "Can he continue with classroom instruction?"
West Virginia Code 18-6-5 was recently amended to limit students that will not attain age 15 by the end of the semester to classroom instruction only. These are students that will not be eligible for a learner's permit at the conclusion of the class. Similarly, the student in question will not be eligible for a permit or license at the conclusion of the class and could still participate in the classroom instruction portion.
2. "Can he receive behind the wheel instruction?"
Because the "exemption from learner's permit requirement" of West Virginia Code 18-6-5 was removed when this section was revised, under the Graduated Driver's License system found in West Virginia Code 17B-2-3a, all drivers under the age of eighteen years are required to obtain a Level I instruction permit before they are permitted to drive on the roads and highways. Therefore, since this student's privilege to drive has been revoked or suspended, he is prohibited from behind the wheel instruction if the same takes place
anywhere open to the public for vehicular travel. A person who allows an unauthorized
person to drive is in violation of West Virginia Code 17B-4-4 which is a misdemeanor
3. Can he receive a certification card?"
Finally, Policy 2422.2, Section 14 Driver Education Certificates, is instructive on your final question. It states that certificates "shall, in the judgment of the teacher, be awarded only to students demonstrating mastery of the recommended course content and a satisfactory level of driving performance, i.e. student ability to consistently control the speed and direction of the vehicle and to safely operate the motor vehicle on the public streets and highways." [emphasis added] Although it shall be in the judgment of the teacher, I am not sure how a student whose privilege to drive was revoked for speeding (97 mph) could demonstrate a satisfactory level of performance.
Hoping that I have been of service, I am,