- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2000

A Fairfax County, Va., state delegate yesterday introduced legislation to close loopholes in a state law that allows people to take the driver's test any time after they have their learner's permit and to take the test until they finally pass.

Delegate James K. "Jay" O'Brien, a Republican, said he wants to end the practice of drivers who show up take the full drivers license road test without ever really learning how to drive.

It is fairly common, he said, especially at Northern Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle offices.

The bill, supported by Lt. Gov. John H. Hager, would require that drivers 18 years of age and older show they either have taken a driver education course or have had their learner's permit 30 days.

"They're already getting these permits, the problem is they some of them aren't using them for training," Mr. O'Brien said.

Neither Mr. O'Brien nor Mr. Hager knew how many drivers might be affected by the change. Both Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Hager said the bill isn't aimed at the region's immigrant population. Mr. O'Brien added the bill also would apply to those with regular licenses applying for motorcycle or commercial licenses.

"Now we find new drivers who show up at DMV who have never been behind the wheel of a car, who go day after day until they finally pass the test," said Mr. Hager.

State Democratic Party spokesman Steve Vaughan told the Associated Press the bill is "another big nanny-type government program."

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