Theresa Bonifazi, Department Chair
Maine Township High School District 207 offers a complete driver education program for students with classes taking place both during the school year and the summer. In this course, students benefit from both classroom experiences as well as behind-the-wheel lessons. Additionally, students practice using driving simulators that further increase the time and range of their experiences beyond what has traditionally been included in Driver Education. The course is one semester long, and the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of the course are each worth .25 credits, for a total of .5 credits.
While there is an additional fee to participate in Driver Education, students benefit from classes that are integrated within their school schedule.
The “Rules of the Road” are taught throughout the course. The major focus of each unit is listed here:
- You Are The Driver
- Basic Car Control
- Making Safe Driving Decisions – The I.P.D.E. Process
- Natural Laws and Car Control
- Performing Basic Car Maneuvers
- Negotiating Intersections
- Sharing The Roadway
- Driving in Urban Areas
- Driving in Rural Areas
- Driving on Expressways
- Planning Your Travel
- Driving in Adverse Condition
- Handling Emergencies
- Effects of Driver Condition on Risk
- Alcohol, Other Drugs and Driving
- Responsibility of Owning a Vehicle
- Maintaining Your Vehicle
Behind-the-wheel lessons include:
- Residential Driving
- Turns (Hand-over-hand)
- City Traffic
- Highway Driving
- Turn-Abouts/Hill Parking
- One Way Roads
- Destination driving
- Emergency Situations
- Expressway Driving and Passing
- Cooperative Driver Testing Program (CDTP) Test
In order to understand what we are trying to accomplish in the classroom, we need to recognize that driving is not just a physical task, it is primarily a mental and a social task. The concept of the “Driving Task” can be summarized as follows: Driving an automobile consists of making skilled and properly timed judgments and decisions. These decisions are, in turn, dependent upon previously acquired knowledge and the gathering of accurate information pertinent to the immediate traffic situation.
The objective of Driver Education is the safe and efficient transportation of people and goods from one place to another:
- To provide basic instruction in driving techniques, a knowledge of how to handle a car in special circumstances, environments and emergencies.
- To provide knowledge of local and state motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances.
- To educate a far more knowledgeable driver who will know enough about highway safety to demand and support higher and higher standards.
As per section 17-24.2 of the Illinois School Code, each student must be at least fifteen (15) years of age, enrolled in high school, and having received a passing grade in at least eight (8) classes during the previous two semesters prior to enrolling in a driver education course.
The State of Illinois also requires that students receive a minimum of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. In order for students to meet these requirements we have established the following policies: A student cannot be absent more than six times in the classroom or three times behind-the-wheel. Upon accumulating more than six classroom absences, more than six simulator absences, or a combination of both, or three behind-the-wheel absences (excused or unexcused), the student will be dropped from the class.
In this class students should expect tests (18), quizzes, homework assignments, reports, and a final examination.
Upon successful completion of the Driver Education program , Classroom, Simulation and Behind The Wheel (BTW), students will receive a “Virtual Blue Slip” from the Illinois State Board of Education. To see if your student has received his or her “Virtual Blue Slip” click here. A student must wait to receive their “Virtual Blue Slip” before going to the Secretary of State’s Driver Service Facility.
To obtain an Illinois Driver’s License students will need to bring the following documents with them to the Secretary of State’s Driver Service Facility:
- Instruction Permit / Receipt
- A Letter Addressed to You at Your Home Address
- Certified Birth Certificate (Hospital Copy Not Accepted)
- Social Security Card
- Cooperative Driver Testing Program (CDTP) Driving Test Form – If Applicable
- Proof of Insurance (Insurance Card)
- A vehicle that will pass an inspection
- 50-Hour Certification Sheet
- Parent Affidavit
Students will be expected to take a driving test in a vehicle provided by you (if you have not received the CDTP certificate from your instructor). Even with the CDTP certificate you may still be subject to a spot-check driving test by the Secretary of State. Be prepared to have your picture taken for your driver’s license.
You can take your test at a local Secretary of State Driver Service Facility. The Des Plaines and the Deerfield Facility (Lake-Cook Plaza) are the closest. Be prepared for a lengthy wait in line. Two other facilities in the area are Libertyville and Schaumburg. See your instructor for information sheets about all four (4) facilities. The DMV has also provided access to Practice Tests and the Illinois Road Signs Test to help students prepare for the driver knowledge test.
Teen Driving Laws
Parental Access to Teen Driving Records: Parents may view their teen’s (under age 18) driving record free through the Secretary of State Web site. Several security features will protect the teen’s privacy and ensure that only the parents/legal guardians are granted access to the teen’s driving record.
Driver’s License Suspension for Alcohol Consumption: A person under the age of 21 who is found guilty or granted court supervision for a violation of state law or local ordinance relating to illegal consumption, possession, purchase or receipt of alcohol, regardless of whether a vehicle was involved will face a loss of driving privileges, in addition to any fine imposed. Court supervision for any of these offenses will result in a 3-month suspension of driving privileges; a first conviction results in a 6-month suspension of driving privileges; a second conviction results in a 12-month suspension of driving privileges and a third or subsequent conviction will result in a revocation of driving privileges.
Street Racing: Driving privileges will be revoked for any person convicted of street racing, and law enforcement may impound the vehicle for up to five days.
PA 94-0897 strengthens the Illinois Graduated Driver’s License program by increasing the amount of practice time to 50 hours, including 10 hours of night driving, young drivers will need before being able to obtain a driver’s license. This new law requires the parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult to provide written consent at the time of driver’s license application verifying the teen is sufficiently prepared and able to safely operate a motor vehicle. More information about the Illinois Graduated Driver’s License is available here.