New rules to get behind the wheel

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 07/02 2014 05:24PM

Updated 07/02 2014 05:27PM

ILLINOIS -- Changes are in place to make driving safer. Drivers Ed is now mandatory for slightly older, first-time drivers. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs reports.

"Yeah, I just feel safer that way."

Don Strode is a life-long resident of Illinois. He remembers many years ago, having to take Drivers Ed.

"We had, like a two week classroom-type setting, then we got to go out on the road."

But, some drivers haven't taken Drivers Ed and Strode says, he notices a lot of distracted young drivers.

"I don't drive and text. Neither should anyone else."

So, the Secretary of State's Office hopes to reduce the risk. From now on, teenagers 18 - 20 will have to take a six-hour training course if they want a license.

"In addition to the general rules of the road, maybe some aspects that teens may fall prey to such as decision making, texting while driving and how that's illegal."

In 2013, there were more than 37,000 drivers licenses issued to 18 - 20 year olds. Of those, nearly 16,000 did not take drivers education. It's a law Strode says he supports.

"Now, you're going to see it in a classroom. It's going to be drilled into your brain, so once you get out on the road, you know not to go texting while you're driving."

Since the law went into effect, the Secretary of State's Office says 33 people have already signed up for the online course.

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