By Alexandria Osborne
Washington State Journal 

Driver's education to teach sharing road with trucks and buses


Last updated 3/8/2023 at 2:57pm

Driver’s education courses will include guidance about sharing the road with big trucks and buses if a bill approved by the House gets an OK from the Senate.

House Bill 1540 is sponsored by Rep. Spencer Hutchins, R-Gig Harbor.

Hutchins said we share the road with these large commercial vehicles and buses, and it is important for new drivers to learn how to share the road safely.

“It would be a great disruption to life, to commerce, to have unnecessary accidents with our large commercial vehicles,” he said. “This bill does a little bit to make that better.”

Rep. Joe Timmons, D-Bellingham, said as students go through a driver’s education course, they already learn how to share the road with pedestrians and bikers.

“This bill adds a great addition to that by adding commercial motor vehicles and buses as well,” he said.

With a 97-0 vote, HB 1540 was approved in the House and is on its way to the Senate. The bill does not have a fiscal impact.

Under current law, Washington residents are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of

classroom instruction, six hours of behind-the-wheel operation with a licensed instructor and at least one hour of in-vehicle driver observation.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Licensing jointly developed and maintained a curriculum for driver’s education courses. Private driving school courses and school districts that operate driver training programs are required to follow this curriculum.


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