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Driver’s education set to become mandatory in Mississippi as bill passes

Driver’s education courses will soon be required in Mississippi schools.

Senate Bill 2695, authored by Republican Dennis DeBar, makes driver’s education courses mandatory in public high schools across the state. The bill was passed unanimously by both chambers at the capitol and will go to Gov. Tate Reeves for approval.

Recent studies suggest that Mississippi is one of the nation’s leaders in teen-driving fatalities, prompting public officials to make the case for students to receive additional safety courses while in the classroom.

“One of the things that we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on over the last couple of years is school safety when it comes to firearms in schools and active shooter situations, but the reality is that we lose far more teenagers every year to fatal accidents than we do school shooters,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell said.

These classes would give students both classroom and behind-the-wheel training in which multiple driving scenarios are presented to them to maximize their awareness on the road. Students enrolled in driver’s education courses are not required to possess a state-issued learner’s permit, though it’s recommended to have. This means 14-year-old pupils can participate.

The state superintendent of education and Tindell will be tasked with jointly preparing an estimated budget and fiscal report of the additional expenses and costs related to the implementation of mandatory driver’s education programs. This is to ensure that the programs won’t be too financially burdensome on smaller school districts.

The legislation, if signed by the governor, would go into effect at the beginning of the 2026-27 school year.

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